Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Juan Ortiz, Owner of Juan Israel Ortiz, located in Newnan, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm a direct response copywriter working with direct marketers - freelancers, small business owners, marketing managers for big companies, or creative directors at ad agencies - looking for fresh marketing ideas to promote their offers.

I've done work for financial, healthcare, and other niche products. My mission is to help my clients attract as many qualified leads as possible and generate as many sales as possible.

Tell us about yourself

How I became a copywriter was pretty much an accident. By my 27th birthday, I was down and out on myself. I was a restaurant host with no direction, eating PB&J sandwiches every day and walking 90 minutes to get paid about $10 an hour. Back then, I thought I wasn't doing good because my English wasn't good enough, and I needed to improve my communication skills.

So I went to the local Barnes and Noble on my birthday looking for the "Grammar Girl" book by Mignon Fogerty. I didn't find it, but I did find a book called "The Copywriter's Handbook by Bob Bly. At the time, I had no earthly clue as to what copywriting entails, but something about that book called out to me. So I bought it. And to this day, I still own that copy of the book. It's sitting right to me as I do this interview (hehe) because I still use it as guidance when it comes to copywriting projects.

As for the reason why I do direct response copywriting, it's simple. I've become (over time) an advocate for poverty alleviation. And I believe I own a skill that can help people go from poverty to whatever level of wealth they wish to achieve. So my main focus is on the tiers below the large corporations - from fellow freelancers to medium-sized businesses - and helping them grow as big as they want is perhaps the most satisfaction you can get as a copywriter. Outside of the compensation, of course.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Believe it or not, being a business owner has helped me have a better life outside the business world. Because of what I do, which involves doing a lot of research, I've learned about many topics I did not understand. And due to what I've learned, I've grown a more effective lifestyle. I've learned how to take better care of my health. Make better investments and grow my wealth. I now know how to produce more for my community. And overall, the importance of learning more.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things - or perhaps the hardest thing - that comes with being a business owner is adjusting to the fact that the work-life balance will get whacked for a while, especially when you're starting. If you're a work-a-holic (like me), you'll find no problem working 12, 13, or even 14 hours a day. The more fulfilled you feel when working on your project, the more you'll want to do it. That is why you have to draw a line between time for work and time for everything else.

You've got to understand that while you should treat life as a business, business is not the only thing that matters. Without good health, money means nothing. Without the love and affection of your family, money means nothing. And without a community that truly appreciates what you have to offer, money means nothing.

The quicker you understand that 14-hour workdays should not be a norm and that there are things just as important (if not more) than your business, the slower it'd take for you to burn out. And thus, the happier you'll be when you're working.

So yeah, work-life balance is perhaps the biggest hurdle your find as an entrepreneur if you're working solo.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Let's see - the top three tips I'd give to aspiring entrepreneurs:
Well, number one must be "Start NOW!" There's not a perfect time for anything in this life. If you wait for some sign or something, you'll never start. The best time to start your business was yesterday. The second best time is now. Block an hour away to start working on your business. If you can't block an hour, then sacrifice something. Make room for your business. If you keep postponing it, it'd never come to pass. Just start now while the idea is fresh in your head.

Number two would be to learn, learn, and learn. And when you're tired of learning, go and learn some more. I learned a while back that "when you stop learning, you start dying." And that not only goes to us as people - it goes to our businesses too. The moment you stop learning about your market and your industry, that's the moment you start falling behind the eight ball. And once that happens, it's hard to recover. Continuous education will make it easier to run your business. You'll get the answers to most questions you have right away. So pay attention to your prospects, customers, partners, competitors, etc. And learn, learn, and learn.

Finally, I'd say to aspiring entrepreneurs that "Everything is Marketing." And let me clarify that now because people think it means increasing the marketing budget, and that's not the case. What I mean is that everything your business does must align with what you promote. From the mode of operations to the people you hire to management style and the partners you negotiate. Everything must be in-sync. Remember: people are looking for that one thing to turn their backs on you. Make it harder for them by having what you say and do parallel one another.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you're an entrepreneur reading this interview and want to share your thoughts with me, feel free to reach out. And if you need marketing and advertising ideas, I'll be more than happy to be at your service.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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