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Business Networking Done Right for More Opportunities

Sean: With your international speaking gig and. The the podcast, cause that definitely takes time. And a lot of entrepreneurs, they would say like the end goal, Sean is, you know, to be able to have more time for myself, my family, and finally be able to retire early because the system is working for me already.

And in my case, I would love to be there, but it’s difficult to just move forward and leave the team and expect them to do whatever it is they need to do. At least that’s in my case. So I still need to be present as the CEO and founder of SEO hacker, and be able to talk with them. Sometimes I do sweep checks or random checks.

How is it like on your end that you’re now able to move forward with some of these new projects you have and be able to just kind of manage Slingshot VOIP in a way that you’re able to do a lot of new projects?

Edwin: Yeah, no, I mean, that’s a great question, Sean. And to be quite honest, I am, I’m still present in the business, right? And I think it’s a question that I think about a lot now, too, when, because I have these entities that I want to have more time for the question is, and the thought is like, how do you succeed? And I never want to use the word exit or leave the business. You know, what’s my succession plan? Right?

It’s really thinking about literally it is an exit strategy, but what is your succession plan? If your goal, Sean, is to always have a stake in this business, and then do something else if that’s what you’re thinking about now. So how do you identify these leaders or is your idea to exit or find a strategic partner?

That’s going to, you know, you guys work together and build a company together and then you could succeed that way. So it’s really understanding where you want to go. But I only started thinking about this when I started having this bigger idea of who I am and what I want to do with myself and Flashpoint Global and this brand.

And I realized, Oh, okay. If I really want to take this, I need to figure out how to succeed or  have the succession plan  to leave. And then that actually drove me more to like, Oh, okay, I gotta figure this all out. Right. And then, so I could do this, but like I said earlier, I’m sort of that person that needs to do many things.

So me building this helps me build this out. Right. So that’s a, I don’t know if that answers your question, but it’s, it’s literally. To your time. I always, I don’t work on weekends, so I, but I have a daughter you know. One of my biggest things was learning not to work on weekends and in the evening. So this is like the odd time that I’m actually doing a podcast interview in the evening.

But I literally, as I was learning to turn off work, I used to have a script that would text me every day at like 5:00 PM. Like when my daughter was born, she’s four now, but it would basically text me at 5:00 PM and say it’s Tato time. So Tato is my, my wife is Eastern European. She’s from Slovakia – Tato is father like Tato, like that ‘Tatay’

So I knew if I wasn’t at home, I’m actually eating into my family time. And then it became like, Oh, you know what? I stopped going to events. Like I said earlier, like, it’s like, all right, this is the time. I need this all the time and we could have it all. It’s just reprogramming ourselves. Right? And trusting that things are, we’ll always be busy. Right. So there’s always work to do.

Sean: Yeah. It’s good. Now to know that they’re not worries coming to you and you’re doing the podcast and getting any more business in, I actually want to stem from that question. You’re doing this podcast entitled Business Leadership Podcast.

And it looks like you’re, you’re volunteering a lot of your time at Startup Canada as well, which seems to be like a big organization there. I’m not sure, but you could talk a little bit more about that so that we would all understand what it is. 5:00 PM is your family time. And yet you have a lot of time for these things.

Why are you doing all these? Why are you volunteering to help out? Because it’s, it didn’t start out as. Oh, I’m going to get more network. If I do the podcast. Oh, I’m going to get more network If I help out at Startup Canada, I wonder, like, what was the mission-purpose, the calling that drove you to volunteer your time, helping out other entrepreneurs, teaching leadership, speaking in public, helping out in Startup Canada?

Edwin: So startup Canada.

Now I’m, I’m more off it now than I was before. Originally started in Canada. I think I got involved with the organization. I think about the same time I launched Slingshot. Like I told you, when I became an entrepreneur, there is no startup ecosystem in the mid 2000s. So I was just that entrepreneur that would go and make sales and hustle.

And don’t know, never use this digital stuff. Like I was a little late when it started learning all that stuff, you know, versus like yourself at 2010, you’re doing SEO already. It was a little more proactive in the sense that, okay, we, you launched this and this ecosystem is starting to grow and learn. I mean, grow in terms of  support and helping each other. And this organization, Startup Canada was just launched. And I met the co-founder at the time and I’m like, oh, how could I get involved? Because I understood. And what I was learning was,  you could go to all these events or you can be part of an organization that runs all these events and become that way.

So that, that was sort of my way of getting, creating network and understanding how being part of these networking organization, not networking organization, but these – big massive ecosystems across Canada provided opportunities like, I ran one of their digital programs, which was startup chats, which was a Twitter chat.

I ran it for three years and I mean, I wrote an article like hitting 2 billion, like impact and doing all that type of stuff. So it allowed people to learn about me and grow myself. It looks like an organic hack, but my reason and my purpose for that was to build my word of mouth and my network and do that type of stuff.

But what I found Sean was that as I got to know more entrepreneurs and understand their journey and their struggle. Because I was part of startup Canada, I was able to provide insight or help or guide them and that’s rewarding. I think you’re getting this from your podcast. It’s rewarding to know that you helped someone, you made a difference. And I think that’s where this purpose comes from. You’re like, Oh, I don’t want, I could, this just feels good. I mean, making money feels great, of course, but I mean, making an impact on someone’s life that’s unforgettable. I think that really moves me and that really got me towards like the podcast eventually, but that was the main reason why I stayed in it.

And I was lucky and blessed to be in a situation where I was in a leadership role or scene and volunteering. I was able to – not negotiate, but really not spend so much time on this Startup Canada stuff. It was literally like a kid when you need, just need to run this twice a week on Twitter.

Like for one hour on Wednesdays and one hour on Fridays, like that was it. And then they would have these big galas Sean, and I’d go to these galas and meet everyone and meet, you know, very wealthy or very successful entrepreneurs. So it was, it was really cool.

Sean: Would you say that startup Canada, when you were starting out, helped out a lot in your networking and your sales and your revenue?

Edwin: Yeah, I mean, it ultimately helped me out. Definitely in my networking and my sales and some partnerships that I created. And ultimately, I think that was probably the start of how I really met a lot of key friends, entrepreneurs, friends, eventually, too. I think that was the start of it. And it also got me networking effectively.

I think before that, I was just going to all crazy different networking events and it was just business card, business card, and it’s just a game, but it became more strategic. And then I ultimately made friends because I guess who I am and how I showed up. I mean, I was never, I guess, salesy, right?

This is the Filipino thing, I was never ‘mayabang’. I was just being happy, being friendly, being a joker, right? Like, just talking with everyone. And I think it eventually came from there. I mean, Just for some context, even startup Canada, the opportunity allowed me to meet the prime minister.

Like three times over the year. It was, it was, it was pretty cool. And I met many, many MP’s, members of the parliament, some mayors like it’s, it’s pretty cool. It was a pretty cool, and I‘m still associated, but the co-founders have left already. They exited it already. So I know the new executive director, but I’m more I’ve moved on because I want to do my own stuff now, but they still literally when they have big events, they want me to judge some stuff where they, you know, they’ll ask me to emcee something. So it’s cool. 

Sean: Well, it sounds like a very, very good organization. I want to know during your time as an eight year old entrepreneur and being a volunteer and a lot of these things were there times when leading was difficult for you?

Edwin: Yeah, I think, I think leadership is, it’s interesting, right? And especially, I think it’s interesting when you have to deal with difficult decisions. I think that’s when the leadership really comes hard, like when you have to make a big hire or bring in some key partners or when you get to let people go, I think it’s, it’s hard to be that person to, you know, being a hopeless romantic.

You always want everything to work out. In our mind as entrepreneurs, we have this dream of like, okay, Sean’s going to be the guy we’re going to work together. It’s going to at least, you know, it’s going to go on forever. But, you know what I’m finding with leadership and talking to many leaders, executives, and founders is for me, what I relate to is those, especially the difficult decision that you know of and you didn’t pull the trigger to do.

That’s what I find it it’s learning and I’m becoming faster at it now. Right. And realizing like you’re actually hurting yourself by not letting that person go over and not creating that partnership or by not firing that customer, for example. Right. I think, I think, I think it’s doing that and doing what’s right for the company sometimes it seems harsh, but you got to understand that the company is still a little thing of its own, right?

Yeah.

Sean: I’m going to go down to our last three questions regarding your public speaking. So you’re an international keynote speaker and a lot of people say that public speaking is the number one fear over death. Death is number two. What was the point in your life when you realized or decided that, Hey, I want to do public speaking?

And what’s the drive behind that? What’s your purpose behind that?

Edwin: Two? And I think the first one I was going to say was because I looked back and I realized I was really scared of public speaking, like when I was in high school. Great. Like, I was so scared of it, you know, I was really good one-to-one, in the small groups, but it was something that I think it was a challenge.

For me it was a challenge to really like put myself into uncomfortable situations. So me, being an entrepreneur or myself being self-driven I realize, if something’s scary, I got to do it. I got to try it. I got to see, I got to solve it. But the reason that got me over to solving it is, I understood being an entrepreneur, I needed to be a better speaker.

And if I could get people and get leads by being on stage talking and moving and getting people to emotional state, I think that was the ultimate game. That’s like, that’s an entertainer ultimately. Right. And that’s, you know, if you can move people from emotion to taking action and whether it’s action to Slingshot or action to start a business or an action to do a sales call, I think that’s very inspiring and it’s very rewarding and fulfilling for myself that I’m able to change someone in an instant. Right. And I think that’s what most public speakers are going to say, when it comes to the reason why they do that is because you could change someone in an instant. And I think that’s, I think that’s, that’s just so rewarding.

Sean: And I understand that what you’re saying that it is something that will help you drive more leads to your business because that’s also something that I do here.

Next question, Edwin is actually for our listeners who are struggling entrepreneurs, especially during this time, when, you know, things are just uncertain, being a leader is.

It’s one of the most difficult times to be a leader, because how can you tell someone, Hey, you know, you should follow me as I go here. Where, where are you going? You don’t even know where you’re going. Right. We don’t know if it will be over next year. We don’t know when the economy will recover. I don’t know how bad it is there in Toronto, but here in the Philippines.

July – 45% unemployment rate from January – 7%. That’s huge. That is colossal. And that just tells you how many small to medium entrepreneurs also suffered. And our Department of Trade Industry reports that another 7,000 small SMEs will close towards December. That’s a lot and SMEs is anywhere from zero to 99 million pesos market cap.

So you can imagine a lot more people will get unemployed. And I’m wondering what would be your advice. If you could give one big advice to these struggling entrepreneurs or having a really hard time telling people, follow me as I go wherever and who are trying to make ends meet with their business. I know people who are bleeding like 600,000 pesos a month just to keep their employees.

Giving them a livelihood, what will be your advice to them?

Edwin: Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s a tough one. I mean, cause I’m, I mean, personally, I, you know, I also think about that personally and being in another part of the world and seeing myself as people look to me as thought leadership. But the other thing I tell people is like, you know, we’re in the storm, we’re going to get through it.

And we got to keep ourselves active. We got to keep ourselves positive. We got to keep ourselves productive. And sometimes, you know, I know a lot of business leaders here who talk to their employees and said, listen, we’re all struggling. I’m taking, like, I know so many executives that took all their pay cut so they could pay the rest of the employees.

But I know other business leaders who are like, listen, I want it to work out for all of us. We all have to take a cut. So everyone across the company took a cut. Right. But I think there’s going to be the end of the storm and it’s hard to see when that is. And you just gotta have faith and belief and strength in terms of what you’re doing.

Right. And even if you pivot a little. And even if you have to do something different, I think ultimately you have to keep moving and what’s been working for me, Sean, is looking where people are struggling and how can I help them? Because there are a few of us entrepreneurs that are actually thriving.

And if not thriving, some of us are getting better and making more money. Right. It’s not a huge one, but there’s still a percentage like, though, if you’re in that situation and you’re listening, you should be out there helping and seeing how you could provide some insights, some help, and help your people.

Because what happens when the storm is out, they can look, Oh man, Sean was out there talking and helping people through this stage. Like all of a sudden you’re someone who is a leader within the community, within the entrepreneurship community,who provided whatever it needed – doesn’t have to be some money. It could be. Insight. It could be thoughts. It could be like, you know, Edwin what’s, what’s your problem today? Did you think about doing this for your business? How about this? 

Like very easy advice, right. But it’s really like just listening and talking and helping and listening to your employees.Right? It’s back to understanding where their pain is and their anxiety is. Maybe they don’t really want to go to work. Who knows? Right. It’s, it’s a scary world right now. So, I hope that helps, but I’m not, so I’m not too sure because we’re all in this right now. And I know for me, it’s just trying to be a stand and to always look at the light and share some of the pains that we’re going through as well.

Sean: Is there any, any advice from a seasoned entrepreneur and a thought leader, like you helps, you know it, I know it. And lastly, now that we’ve learned so much from you, where could we find you?

Where could we connect with you?

Edwin: Yeah, I mean, you can connect me. You could email me directly –  edwin@slingshotvoip.com. Pretty active on Instagram. I’m trying to get more active. Sean, maybe you tell me, but I’m trying to get a little more active on LinkedIn, Twitter. I’m okay. On here on there, but reach out to me.

Connect me. Tell me you heard me on Sean’s podcasts. I’ll be, I’ll be happy to connect with you. I’m always, I’m always happy to, to help if I can, for sure.

Sean: That’s awesome. Well, Edwin, we’re going to have all of those links in the show notes. So if you’re listening in, go to leadershipstack.com and we will have this episode, Mr. Edwin Frondozo.

All of his links to his social media accounts will be there. So it’s easy for you to click on it and just connect with him. Edwin, thank you so much for all the insights advice we’ve got from you. It’s been amazing and we’re better for it.

Edwin: Sean. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.


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