Interview with Fran Cañete
We talked with Fran Cañete, an online business consultant, podcast host and LinkedIn consultant about online businesses, entrepreneurs, and working from home.
1. Hello Fran, first of all, I would like to thank you for dedicating your time and energy to do this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about how you became an Online Business Consultant? What inspired you to start your own business?
It’s my pleasure to share my experience with you and your audience. I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 10 years, and I can tell you something, it’s not an easy journey, but I love it.
I used to work in the banking industry until 2009, those were my days as an employee until one Friday afternoon I was fired. That was so painful, quoting my boss, “I wasn’t committed enough to my work because I was leaving the office before my boss.”
Ouch! That was really painful, but after a while, I realized that the only way to build a career that I could be proud of and enjoy the lifestyle of my dreams was to start my own business. I just had one tiny problem, I had no idea about how to start a business like that.
Now, years of trial and error later, I built different businesses online that allowed me not just to enjoy my dream lifestyle but also to move to different countries, travel the world, and work with clients from all over the globe.
I probably never would have been able to start a business when I had a day job because it feels so scary and insecure. But after all these years I understood that delegating your career to the decisions of somebody else, like your employer, is the riskiest option.
That’s why today I help entrepreneurs to navigate this journey and build the business of their dreams.
2. Can you tell me which skills are the most important for being an entrepreneur?
The most important skill to learn as an entrepreneur is acquiring the right mindset, anything else can be delegated.
Very often, entrepreneurs spend countless hours learning how to design the right sales automation system or how to master the next trendy strategy on Instagram to grow their audience but they don’t invest time to build the right mindset.
Here is the problem, when you are building your business, things are going to get tough sooner than later. You need to deal with those situations with calm and stillness and understand that the journey is about learning, optimizing, and building a successful business.
Those entrepreneurs that develop this mindset will always find the right strategy to apply in every stage of the process and overcome any obstacle.
3. From your personal experience, do you think that the global pandemic influenced more people than ever to start an online business?
Like I said before, in my personal story, I didn’t start my own business until I was laid off. That was my trigger point to overcome any fear or blockage and jump into entrepreneurship.
This pandemic is having horrible economic and health consequences all over the world. But at the same time, people can take advantage of it and try new things that they would never try in a normal situation.
This pandemic will pass. Like all previous pandemics, 2 World Wars, 9/11, and the last global financial crisis in 2009. Once this is all over, people will look back and see if they made big decisions that changed their life forever or did nothing hoping this will happen as soon as possible.
We can work safely from home thanks to a massive online market available to all of us and that’s something that we had never had before in human history.
I can see more and more people interested in building an online career, this could be as an employee or as an online entrepreneur, but they are finally understanding that working online is a huge advantage that allows you to have more independence and financial stability.
4. What is your favorite part about working from home?
Everything. I am working from home for the last 10 years and I laugh when people call this way to work the “new normal”. Well, the “new normal” is just my “everyday normal”.
I love how productive I can be working from home. I can wake up very early in the morning and get started without having to commute, saving a lot of time, then I can finish my day essentials at some point in the morning and go out for a run or have a walk with my wife without asking anybody. To me that’s freedom.
There are big challenges as well, especially if you are new to remote working. You can find so many distractions outside your “office environment”, but won’t take long until you get used to it.
5. Do you have a daily routine that helps you to stay productive? In your opinion, what should be included in a daily routine? How do you stay focused?
I know morning routines are becoming very popular, but I am going to be a bit politically incorrect here. They are not a “cure-all”, and you should question every single one of them.
There are people out there that advocate starting your day at 5 am and things like that, in my opinion, recommending those routines to everybody is crazy because not everybody has the same physiology or simply we need a different number of hours of sleep to feel restored.
A daily routine, especially a morning routine, should be customized in every case.
However, there is one routine that I recommend to every online entrepreneur: plan your day the day before.
Something as simple as that will improve not just your productivity but also your focus and clarity dramatically.
Even better than that, I recommend planning the week ahead, for example, Sunday afternoon or whenever suits you better. The important thing here is to start the week with clear goals in mind and an accurate idea of when will you be tackling every task.
I don’t recommend focusing on more than 3 important tasks per day, otherwise, you will feel overwhelmed. People usually underestimate the power of taking small simple steps every single day.
There is a quote that I like and explains this perfectly: “People overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in three years”. Developing a long term goal mindset is key.
6. Which apps do you find most useful while working from home?
I would recommend building the right systems first like developing a routine that works for you, planning your daily goals, weekly goals, and include some time for exercise for example.
There is an infinite amount of tools and apps to stay productive but without setting the right mindset first all those apps would become an expensive time-consuming distraction.
That said, one of the apps that I use daily while working remotely is G Suite for all kinds of document creation and cloud storage. Is very important to collaborate with your remote team and that’s an easy and effective way to do it.
To organize my tasks and track different projects I use Asana and maybe Trello is a great alternative.
Finally, to communicate with my team and collaborators I use Slack, which is a great way to stay updated without having a flooded inbox.
7. How do you see the business world in the future, working from home or working from the office?
I think we will see a bit of everything, big corporations are going to go serious about setting remote work schemes in place offering flexible alternatives to their employees.
However, small businesses will embrace remote working as a new standard in many cases. Employers are seeing the advantages of having a remote team and saving huge amounts of money in office rentals for example.
Building a remote team means that you are not limited to your local area to hire talented professionals, but you can work with professionals everywhere, even in different countries. That’s so attractive for small businesses.
From the employees’ side, I think we are going to see something even more interesting, this is the end of the “hourly based” employee. Because if you are working remotely for a company and you can manage your time, that means that you can start attending other projects on the side in your free time.
I think many employees are going to transition to online freelancers working for different clients at the same time. Of course, that is the previous step to become a full-time online entrepreneur, which in my opinion, is amazing.
8. If you could give one free advice for all those people that struggle with starting an online business, what would it be?
I would recommend finding the simplest way to get started right now. The important thing is to start taking action as soon as possible.
Online entrepreneurs —and any entrepreneur— suffers what it’s called “analysis paralysis” which basically means that we get lost analyzing and finding the “right” way to get started. The right idea, the right product, the right tool, the right business partner, the right moment…
The truth is, the right moment doesn’t exist. You need to start where you are with what you have right now and start building from there. No matter how small you feel at the beginning.
A huge blockage that I found in online entrepreneurs is finding the right business idea, this could feel paralyzing.
A simple step to find and validate your idea is by going to forums and sites related to your topic and start sharing ideas and talking with people. Having some real feedback could save you a lot of time and money if you can identify a profitable idea at the early strategies.
So, don’t get paralyzed, decide one simple step that you can take right now to move towards your goal, and take action.
This could be as simple as contacting someone that you would like to have as a client and ask for a 15 minutes call to discuss some ideas and understand better what their problems are. Because ultimately, every successful business focuses on solving meaningful problems.
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