387 The Path to Finding Your Unique Niche – Erica Duran

What you will hear in our discussion with Erica Duran:

  • How to Create Your Unique Biz Opportunities
  • How Your Past Experiences can Help You Succeed
  • How She Became a “Travel Entrepreneur”
  • The Path to Finding Your Unique Niche
  • Building a Business Based on the Life You Want

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More about our featured guest Erica Duran

Erica Duran is a Business Coach & Freedom Based Luxury Lifestyle Designer. She helps coaches, trainers, and other service-based entrepreneurs to build their businesses to a consistent $5K-$20K+ per month only working about 3 days per week so they can put more “life” back into their lifestyle. Erica travels full-time living at the luxury resorts that sponsor her radio podcast and web TV show.

Full Transcript

00:02 Joel: Hi, it's me Joel.

00:03 Pei: And this is Pei.

00:04 Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your go to resource for inspiring stories, fresh ideas and practical steps so that you can start over with confidence. And if you're a frequent listener, thank you for subscribing to the show and if you are new here, just know that you are among friends and if you like what you hear, you can join us here three times a week just by subscribing to the show by visiting us at joelboggess.com/itc. And just a quick reminder, today's show is brought to you by Audible. If you're not yet a member for Audible, you can stop by and sign-up for their no strings attached 30 day membership and you can download an audio book absolutely free. Yours to keep regardless of what you choose to do with the Audible membership. And, if you haven't yet read or listened to my most recent book, ‘Finding Your Voice,' well, guess what? You can find that book too on Audible and you can download it absolutely free. Just visit joelboggess.com/audible and take advantage of their trial membership. Again, it's joelboggess.com/audible.

01:22 Joel: Freedom Based Luxury Lifestyle Designer Erica Duran joins us today, and this lady will help you put more life back into your lifestyle. How about that, Pei? For a plan where it's more life in your lifestyle. Is that something that we could all need? Use?

01:39 Pei: Indeed.

01:40 Joel: She travels full time living at the luxury resorts that sponsor her podcast and her web TV show. Erica Duran, this is the first time that I've had you on ReLaunch. Welcome, welcome!

01:51 Erica Duran: Thank you, it's great to be here. Thank you for having me.

01:54 Joel: It's great to have you on here as well, and this show is highly practical because it is all about the relaunch and specifically how you did it. And we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our lives, and what I do, Erica Duran, is generally I ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant for them or the most transformational, and then we unfold the story from there. So, let's go ahead and jump right in to that if that's okay with you. We've all experienced many of them, right? Some personal, some professional, and some kind of twined in there together, little personal, professional relaunch together. But, which one do we need to zero in on today for your story? And go from there.

02:44 Erica Duran: Well, I kind of do this every two years. It seems like clockwork, so I know what you're saying about having several in your life. There's kind of a mini one and then a bigger one, if that's okay to talk about.

02:58 Joel: Yeah, absolutely. Does one kind of lead into the other one?

03:00 Erica Duran: Yes, it does actually. I was a professional organizer for about 15 years, so just like you see on HGTV and everything, and I also had a consignment system with it. So we would declutter and so the stuff that they didn't need anymore for consignment. So, being a professional organizer, not liking clutter, I found myself just covered in clutter all day in this warehouse doing the consignment and everything. Then I took this business to a franchise system, so then again, I wasn't an organizer anymore. I was selling franchises, so that's kind of what really launched me into traveling full time. I just decided that I was done being stuck in one area, I was done with dealing with clutter when I didn't even like it, and I was done with kind of that whole situation.

04:01 Joel: Okay, unpack that a little bit because I bet there's a lot of things that you discovered and learned about yourself and your potential and possibilities in that. So, you were a professional organizer for fifteen years. You were obviously doing it successfully or you wouldn't have been there for quite so long. So I'm curious, and I know Pei has already got her hand up, so I'm gonna…

04:23 Pei: Oh, I'm good. You're asking exactly the same questions that I had.

04:26 Joel: Yeah, it kind of works that way sometimes. So what did you learn or relearn about yourself that made you want to, okay I need to move on beyond what I'm just doing kind of in the trenches? Because it sounds like you were for 15 years.

04:47 Erica Duran: Yeah, it was a successful business and I was able to do like a mini franchise system off of it, but the main thing; I think the big take away from this is I kept accepting deals or clients or partnerships that were… To get the money. Because I thought getting the money would mean freedom. And every time I did something just because of the money, I would end up being two steps back again. So it's really hard when you're struggling to put that boundary up, but really that's the only way that you're gonna get out of that, those types of situations. And I tell this to my clients all the time. I work with them so heavily in the beginning to figure out what kind of lifestyle they want first and then to build a business around it rather than giving themselves a job. Because basically, I gave myself a bad job. [laughter]

05:40 Joel: Okay, so talk about how you gave yourself a bad job. I want you to unpack that concept a little bit because there's a lot in there, and also how when you did it for the money, you ended up going two steps back. I understood the words that you said there, but I know there's more to it than that as well. So yeah, start on either one of those if you will if you have something to share further.

06:08 Erica Duran: Sure. Well, you… I'm sure we've all been there where we might need to pay some bills and so forth. So a client comes along and they're not really ideal to work with or they're a little trouble maker or… There's something about a joint venture or a partnership that just doesn't feel right in your gut and you do it anyway to pay your bills. And it just… When I look back it just never seems to work out. It just always… Depletes your energy… Messes with your mindset and now I'm realizing that mindset is just so important. And energy is so important to have when you're trying to run a business.

06:51 Joel: Gotcha. So you moved into… You can go ahead and pick up the story.

06:58 Erica Duran: Yeah, so, discovering this and wanting to make a change doesn't just happen magically. And so, my bigger relaunch was actually… I would say just a couple of months ago. Between being a professional organizer and doing what I do now, I just went through just unbelievable amounts of personal and business issues with divorce, my… I finally got my ocean view apartment and I had to move 'cause of mold. My father had cancer and eventually passed away and my dogs that are like kids, four out of five of them passed away within a couple years. So I just had it, pretty rough time for a while there.

07:47 Erica Duran: And I transitioned my professional organizing company into kind of a productivity online coach kind of business. But everyone was always coming to me for more technical things and straight up business coaching. But I didn't wanna call myself that 'cause I thought that was just too many of those types of people out there. So I think my biggest relaunch I think that really made the most difference is my life is really just putting that stake in the ground. Not even six months ago and saying, “You know what? People are coming to me for business all the time so that's what I'm gonna be and that's what they're searching on Google.” And when I finally aligned with that and the luxury brands came together to sponsor the podcast and everything, that's when I felt is the biggest relaunch. So I had the mini one like declaring that I'm not gonna work hours for dollars in this organizing business any more and that I'm… Then the bigger one was literally just about six to eight months ago.

08:48 Pei: So you're referring to accepting what people saw in you? Is that what you're talking about, the big one?

08:58 Erica Duran: Yeah, finally accepting and finally putting that label on myself as a business coach. I would try to say productivity coach or word press consultant.


09:10 Erica Duran: SCO expert, web designer. I tried all these other words. But when I would take on a client. Let's say I took on a website design client, they would… It's not just a website. The website touches every single area of your business. Especially your branding, your marketing, your payment system, your call to action, your lead magnet. It just covers everything and so I found myself getting paid as a web designer when I was really doing business… And not what… That didn't feel good either. So that's again, bringing up the boundary issue again. So I finally all clicked… I literally six to eight months ago when I put this all together as what I'm doing now…


09:56 Joel: Gotcha. Now I'm very curious to understand from a practical point of view, your… Movement into the podcasting industry and then how you were able to do something that was brilliant on multiple levels. And that is to get different properties to sponsor your podcast because that's what a lot of podcasters are interested in and looking at, these days. Getting sponsorship and being able to… To leverage their growing audience. So, can you share with us how that came together?

10:34 Erica Duran: Okay. Yeah, I know a lot of podcasters, that's their main line of business or their main monetization method and it's not really for me. It's just… I just wanted to have more connection with my audience than just blogging. The way… Well, I guess it's a pretty neat story. My favorite resort in the world… Let me step back a little minute. I always toyed around with podcasting for a year for those reasons that I just said that I wanted to have a bigger connection with my audience so I wanna start a web TV channel and a podcast. And I toyed around with it and kinda procrastinated on it a little bit for about a year.

11:17 Erica Duran: And then my favorite resort in the world, Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii, started following me on Twitter last Autumn. And that just, to have that property where I had so many great memories just follow me out of the blue on Twitter, just gave me the idea that day. And that day I instantly started tweeting them back and asking, “Who do I talk to? I'm thinking of launching a podcast and a web TV show. I would like to feature your property.” And… I work on this with my clients getting sponsorships. There's a lot behind it… Besides just asking for it. That's the biggest step that… But that is the biggest step that people don't do is just ask.

12:01 Joel: Yeah, no question there.


12:03 Erica Duran: But you have to have your, enough social media followers and offer it to make sense for the property to do that. And I just had… Actually before I was a professional organizer, I was a executive in a hotel industry for a really long time. And I have a hotel degree, so I kinda knew their lingo, and I kinda knew what to look for, what was their off seasons and things like that. Because I would more likely get a shot at it. If they have empty rooms, they'll probably fill it with media rather than let it go empty. So just taking… It was really, a really great thing that I saw that my 15 years of hotel experience wasn't a waste basically. And it's all meant for something later I guess.

12:50 Joel: Sure.

12:50 Erica Duran: Is what showed me.

12:52 Joel: Great points that you're bringing up. And I appreciate what you're sharing here. And really, if you're a podcast or a content creator, and you're looking for possible sponsorship opportunities, you can start to take an inventory. List your assets, list your knowledge, list the industries that you're familiar with, that you've worked in like write what you did in a certain way. And start to look at some possibilities or some opportunities.

13:25 Pei: Right. And that applies to not just for sponsorship, for business opportunities because I do believe when we talked about relaunch, starting over, it doesn't mean we leave everything behind. And yeah, everything we've done could be our asset. It may not be used at this… For this particular reason or at this stage of our life. But it's accumulated.

13:56 Erica Duran: Right. I totally agree with that. And I just… I have one particular client that I like to share. An example of that, she was a…

14:01 Joel: Sure.

14:02 Erica Duran: She was a lawyer, very tired and burned out lawyer. And she decided to become a health coach. So in order to narrow down her niche, we did the exercises of listing her past, basically a life resume, not just your jobs, but everything that's ever… You've ever been through. And now, she's a very successful health coach who helps other burned out female lawyers [chuckle]] get healthy.

14:30 Joel: And there's a lot of those.

14:32 Erica Duran: Yeah. [laughter] She knows where to go to find them.

14:36 Joel: Sure, sure. Yeah, very, very good. Just looking at what you already know is often overlooked. Do you find that as well?

14:47 Erica Duran: I do, and we try to… Whenever I quit something before, I try to do a big brain download, get it out, and get all those memories out, and just start fresh. But I'm thinking, now that I've been in business longer, I'm thinking that it is valuable knowledge, and information, and you probably should categorize or organize or archive those memories instead of just deleting 'em.

15:16 Pei: I love that. This is so important because sometimes we feel like, we hate a certain experience or a certain occupation. We couldn't wait to get out of it. And not knowing, there's lots to… Lots of value we already have because of it. And when you say, you do a brain down of what you have done, that is crucial because…

15:44 Joel: She said download for the record. She said that.

15:45 Pei: Oh. [laughter] Okay. Download, good.

15:49 Joel: She's probably thinking that, but she didn't say that.


15:52 Pei: That's such a visual word to think about, “Okay, I almost put everything on… ” All your files on a computer in a zip drive, and that's yeah… That's at a sec, though. ‘Cause this reminds me when we had Jack Canfield on our show. He went through such a tough time after his divorce, and lost so much money. And he even… On a show, he was talking about, he's eating junk food, not taking care of himself. But then, when he start writing that book, “Success Principles,” when he actually start writing down all the things he did before to take him to success. And then as he end up, that book become his new launching pad.

16:47 Joel: You have good memory there, Pei. Thanks for reminding us of that. One of the things that you mentioned Erica Duran, and I think that we really need to talk about that at least for a minute or two, is the power of Twitter.

17:01 Erica Duran: Oh. [laughter]

17:02 Joel: And it is amazing how people respond to their Twitter feed. And I don't know about you and your podcasting experience is. But Twitter had been phenomenal to help me get past the gatekeeper, get past the people that answer the phone, and go right to the influence or the A list person or the celebrity that I'm trying to get onto my show. And it just… It still amazes me on how quickly people check their Twitter on their phone. And boom, they'll answer it just faster than you can even think about it. Does that happen to you?

17:46 Erica Duran: Yeah, it's really amazing. I use Twitter mostly for the sponsorships. It's easier to talk to them on Twitter. For guests, I actually have better luck with Facebook.

18:00 Joel: Okay.

18:00 Erica Duran: Yeah, but all the social media platforms are amazing. It's amazing to be living in this time where we can just talk to anyone we want.

18:09 Joel: Yeah, the playing field has been completely leveled and that's what's exciting, or at least to me anyways, about being an entrepreneur and a business owner is because even if certain people have different advantages or they have different experiences, education, things of that nature, we're all pretty much equal now to a certain degree and we all have the same ability to get on Twitter, to get on Facebook, other social media platforms and just reach out to whomever the top guy or gal is in your industry and make an immediate connection which is exactly what you did with your first property. Correct?

18:55 Erica Duran: Correct. Correct and it was important that they followed me first 'cause I tried doing it the other way around and it didn't go off as well, it took longer to build the relationship so…

19:07 Joel: That's an important point too. Yeah, if you see an influencer or a property so to speak or someone that you admire follow you then take that initiative like Erica Duran did. Follow-up right. Am I saying that right?

19:26 Erica Duran: Yes, and also it lends to attraction instead of going after something. I think a lot of times you were trying to go after it, like in sales or marketing and sometimes you gotta sit back and let them come to you because everytime I've gone after a property they kind of run away [chuckle] sometimes or it just takes a little bit longer to build the relationship, but if I've attracted them naturally they tend to be a little bit more open minded about everything.

19:57 Joel: That's a great point. In my first book, One Woman's Journey, I wrote a little story about a hunter and a fisherman and if you think about a hunter, what do they do? Well they put on their camouflage gear and all their tracking stuff or whatever, however that works, and then they go and they try to hunt down something. Right? Try to go after whatever it is. You know a deer, a buffalo, things of that nature. However what a fisherman does, well they do something totally different, they go and they… Using the right incentive, the right bait, they drop their line in the water and if they do it right then all the fish come to them and it's a powerful thing, kind of the concept that you brought up having people come to you.

21:00 Erica Duran: I totally agree.

21:01 Joel: Very very cool. Hey Erica Duran, of course we will have all of the social media hotspots and the places to go on the show notes company this episode. Really appreciate a few minutes spending with us here on the re-launch show and anything else that we need to cover real quick about lifestyle design? I love your brand, great work on that by the way.

21:30 Erica Duran: Thank you. It is just about getting quiet and figuring out what you want instead of following everyone else online. It's so easy to follow other people online and follow their blueprint or their five steps to whatever and it's just exhausting and it's probably not gonna work for you. They're not lying. It worked for them and they're not lying, but it might not work for you. Your package that you need to figure out how you want to live first and then design the business to fit in that.

22:06 Pei: I love that because especially these days the voices are even louder and noisier with the help of social media. So it's like especially when they show the better part of their life online it's like, okay, how do I do that? So…

22:29 Joel: I appreciate you bringing that up as well. When I wrote my latest book, ‘Finding Your Voice,' I very purposely called it a guide book and the reason I called it a guide book on many many occasions is because the last thing that I wanted it to be seen as is another rule book and you know what I mean when I say rule books. Kind of what you just talked about the five steps to this or that and then people will buy that book or follow that plan and then they kind of set themselves up for, well, for one thing, frustration. For when they're able to do the whatever recommended steps, but don't get the same kind of results that the person did that wrote it and, gosh that can be a tough thing. But when you are looking at a guide book or a guide in general you can have a lot of different results.

23:36 Erica Duran: Right. So I just encourage people when I have my aloha sessions with them to… If I'm the right coach for you or not, doesn't matter if that coach is living the lifestyle that you want, then you could work with them. It's not like how many blueprints they have online, or how many online courses, or how many followers they have. If they're living the lifestyle you want then they're probably more aligned with you than someone who's just a Facebook expert or something like that.

24:09 Joel: Well said, and of course we'll have the link in the show notes. Appreciate your time today on the show Erica Duran, have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day. Bye-bye.

24:20 Erica Duran: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Connect with Erica on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, YouTube, iTunes and her website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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