Ep380: Jose Salazar – Success with Startups Takes Passion and Commitment

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Quick take

BIO: Jose Salazar is a B2B influencer marketing consultant specializing in optimizing industry and thought leadership marketing through influencer and employee advocacy strategy.

STORY: Jose’s twin brother looped him into a brilliant business idea, but due to their lack of startup experience, the business never took off. They were left paying off a loan that brought no return on their investment.

LEARNING: Do your research before investing in an idea, even from family or friends. Be mentally ready before investing in a startup and make sure you are not the only or major shareholder.


“Don’t spend money unless you’ve got people supporting your business.”

Jose Salazar


Guest profile

Jose Salazar is a B2B influencer marketing consultant specializing in optimizing industry and thought leadership marketing through influencer and employee advocacy strategy. He is currently responsible for growing the US business at Onalytica with a mission to help businesses drive awareness, credibility, and trust across the globe.

Worst investment ever

Jose’s worst investment ever started four years ago. He was having a chat with some friends about investing. He gathered a lot of information from different friends, and this piqued his interest in investing. So when his brother talked to him about this business idea he had, he was all ears.

The brilliant innovative idea

Jose’s brother’s idea was to start an online recruitment platform for the hospitality industry. He had looped in 25 people who were also interested in the concept. They had rounds of meetings for a year but were yet to get started.

Putting money where their mouths are

After a year, they decided that it was time to put money where their mouths were. At this point, everyone left apart from Jose, his brother, and one other friend.

The three decided to form a partnership, contributed about $2,000 each, and got the ball rolling. They paid a designer to create a website and put money into social media advertising.

Getting a loan to fund the startup

After a while, they realized that they needed more money, and so the partners went to a startup-loan company for a loan. So unlike a typical business loan where all shareholders bear the loan burden, a startup-loan business means owners pay from their personal finances.

No clue how to run a business

The three partners continued to build upon their business idea. None of the three had any experience running a startup, and even though they had managed to get several clients to sign up, they were putting in more of their money than they were making. Eventually, Jose spoke to his business partners, and none of them was very keen on running the business, so they folded it.

Lessons learned

Do your research before investing in an idea, even from family or friends

When someone comes to you with an investment idea, whether a friend or family member, do your research before putting in your money. Find out the returns and business forecast. Do everything you need to do to make sure the business is efficient.

Be mentally ready before investing in a startup

Make sure that you are mentally ready to run a startup. Also, you need to make sure that you have the time, put up with the stress, disagreements with partners, and other challenges of running a startup.

Andrew’s takeaways

Do not be the only shareholder in a startup

When investing in a startup, you want to make sure there are other sizable shareholders. Don’t be the only or major shareholder; otherwise, it all comes back to you, which can be very tough on you.

Sell, sell, sell

You need to sell to validate your business. Selling is proof that your business idea is working.

Actionable advice

You need to put time and passion into your business. This means you can’t get distracted; you need to focus on your business.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months.

Jose’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to get back on track with his fitness. On a professional level, his goal is to continue growing his career within the marketing industry.

Parting words


“Just keep following your passions.”

Jose Salazar


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:01
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. And I bet you're exposed to investment risk right now to reduce it, go to my worst investment ever.com and download the risk reduction checklist I've made specifically for you, my podcast listeners, based on the lessons I've learned from all my guests, fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Jose Salazar. Jose, are you ready to rock?

Jose Salazar 00:41
I'm ready to rock and roll. All right,

Andrew Stotz 00:44
well, let me introduce you to the audience. One moment. All right. Jose Salazar is a b2b influencer marketing consultant who specializes in optimizing industry and thought leadership marketing through influencers and employee advocacy strategy. He is currently responsible for growing the US business at Analytica with a mission to help businesses drive awareness, credibility and trust across the globe. Jose, can you take a minute in Philly for their tidbits about your life?

Jose Salazar 01:18
Yeah, sure. And yeah, thanks for the intro. And thank you for inviting me to your podcast. It's really I really appreciate. It's a pleasure to be here. So a bit about myself. My name is Kasia. I'm from originally from Spain. And I'm currently living in the UK working for a marketing firm. So yeah, it's a passion a digital marketing. I've had to spend, I would say, Elise, three to five, three years of my careers, or my career focus on marketing. And, and yeah, so I think it kind of this job that I'm doing now is more than from my heart, I would say it's like my passion. So I spent a couple of years working in sales, my beginnings when I finished uni. And I also spent a year doing internships in marketing. So I think that was a time when actually I got that bit of the sense that you feel this is what they actually like. But my uni my career when a starting uni, and the finance. There was all started actually, back when I was a teenager, and I had a conversation with my dad. He said, What do you want to study? I said, I actually want to do like public administration. And my dad would say, what are you going to do with that? Where are you going to do is take public administration? What are you gonna do with that? Body worker? And I said to my dad, I don't know. That's essentially what I like to do. And yeah, so he, my dad is he studied finance. He was a math teacher. And I think I got kind of his influence in, in the official making a why I went to study finance in uni. So yeah, that was it, his story. And so that's my background in uni in Spain, and I went to Romania for 99 months, sorry. And I studied there as well. I continue my business ministration and finance studies. Yeah, I could say that that was probably the best year one of the best years of my life as a student. So my career continues. Working in different industries. I started in the hospitality industry. spent quite a long time for nearly four years working in the hospitality industry in different roles started as a bartender. Then I move up the ladder to the front office. And from the front office. I went to the audit side so the night shifts working sets a night. why I did that he was speakers I had a steal in the back of my mind. That my that was when I was a teenager, you're saying you had to work in finance, you had to do like I did, you had to keep your career don't move out of that. And you'll get a job in finance. So when I was in the heart and I was a want to change to other they want to do night shifts, which in a way was a bit of a I would say a very difficult decision because I was working in today. Which is lovely, you wake up at six in the morning, you go to reception and you're welcoming guests during the day. And then at three in the afternoon, you're done, just to just go home and it's the day that's fantastic. Then you get nine in the evening 39 and you start to get tired, you go to bed, you sleep. So Well, the next day, you're so energetic, so 10 into the night, going to work at night, he was at Activision, he was the son of something, I think you think to get to slightly lately, and I needed I just had, again, those thoughts from back in the day for my dad that you got a lot of influence from, from evaluators. So I need that, I kind of say that I need that because it's something I wanted to go for it 100% because it was more of more of a feeling that they've been coming in, if I don't work of what I study, and I'm gonna be successful. If I don't work, and I do dedicate my career, my future into finance, I will fail. Or maybe I would not enjoy my life. And I always had that thought I want to be a top finders that actor, a top financial either. Anyway, I went to all the spend years working a night. But it wasn't really like, right, like I saw when they saw that I'm gonna do a lot of numbers and correcting mistakes from finance from the perception team, you know that? No, it wasn't like that I actually had to deal with a lot of people a night at the same time. So from crunching the numbers to actually deal with drunk people, it was kind of a big difference. And yeah, so I continue my career through different jobs a study in London, I did a accounting as kind of specialization in accounting in the UK, where you is better if you study that, it will keep you more opportunities if you if you study that. So it's called a D. I studied it in college here. And from there, he gave me the opportunity finally after years working in hospitality, so now they are a night to move to a real day finance show. So the how it happened, I finished the course I applied jobs bombard CV, my CV to different companies. And I started to work in a startup as an accountant. Basically, that was the moment that arrived Finally, in a cell, I got it, after a years working at night dealing with lots of different situations. So many stories. Some of the are difficult or funny. But yeah, I mainly then and I started working in finance during the day. For several years scaler the other a little bit, became a financial controller. And until literally, I mean, my current occurring dry curve is quite new. I mean, I just recently moving to this job to my current position, but I was working in finance running in this company.

Andrew Stotz 08:32
So you've been in the same company, the hole that

Jose Salazar 08:34
I made in this year. Okay. Exactly. So I mean,

Andrew Stotz 08:39
yeah, maybe you can just tell us, uh, you know, I noticed that you're now b2b influencer marketing, which I guess, you know, it just be well, but take an example of someone like me, I'm a financial guy, many years in finance, and I have b2b email my business, we sell our products and services to other businesses. You know, I also do a lot of kind of go out, you know, in public, but I'm just curious for myself and other people like me, who are maybe professionals or, you know, got experience and they want to build some influence and that type of thing. What from your experience or what you've learned, you know, what's one or two things that you think it's something valuable, that you know, that we could do think about?

Jose Salazar 09:27
Sure. So from my personal experience, at the moment, I don't, on my personal experience online, listen in social media and marketing. I don't get myself a lot of exposure. Let's say I'm not. I'm posting of course every day I serve stories. I share a lot of a examples or maybe like business calls from my own company. I am personally getting a God into their level of you know, of getting a high exposure or maybe engagement in social media. But what I learned and what I can serve from experiences from influencers, like top came, for instance, in different industries, is that they actually started very, like, you know, they're certainly actually in a natural, very natural way on they're married, and we're having the jobs like I do, they have a passion for something they have maybe a knowledge, a key knowledge of something that they believe, can help other people. So they start basically, from scratch online, sharing their experiences, on a very personal way, in a very, I would say, angwin way of talking. Not even to professional doesn't need to be, but at least they're sharing their knowledge. They're saying their experiences on social media, to other people for free. Basically, they are just literally making their information available to everyone. So I believe that the kid do a survey. So I think, I think the success of these stories of influencers you see online, different types of influences. Yeah, for sure. Fashion influencers. Of course, people who are already celebrities that they don't need, they Oh, they were already influencers, even before all of these sorts of media started. But the real influences that the reality they are sorry, are the others. But let's say the influencers who started from scratch, just by sharing their passions, could be a scientific, it could be, it could be true as well, because you do work in the finance industry, you spend years working in financing investment. So to share your passion to you try to let other people know in your experiences, and at the same time, your knowledge. So what do you now what's your knowledge? When you learn everything, you share it online with others, and then you let other people as well get involved with you. So that's what I learned from Kim. Literally correct.

Andrew Stotz 12:13
So knowledge and share your knowledge, share it with passion, but also share it in a personal way.

Jose Salazar 12:19
That's what I'm hearing. Exactly, exactly. It's just ritually, yeah, like you. And I now like talking and hanging out sharing experiences, basically, this is all about this, just helping other people as well, that may have maybe not the opportunity to have the knowledge at that moment in their lives. to peek a little bit of someone. Nowadays, you have information available everywhere online. You go maybe outside to the street, and you talk to people, or you talk to your parents or you talk to your doctor, you talk to whoever you had to talk and maybe you don't have or you feel that you need more information, or do you need you need things more knowledge to now so that's what you're getting to social media, and you're still researching for influencers? Yeah, for people who actually may know something about let's get a dig into this now, your type of new theory that what person knows a lot on this topic, and then that person can teach you, you know, that person can really teach you.

Andrew Stotz 13:25
Great, um, great advice. And I think the personal aspect of it is a great one, because I think people are sometimes afraid to share, you know, their personal side. So I think that's a good lesson for all of us. And for the listeners out there. If you're going out there and you're trying to be, you know, an influencer, you're going to be best to be the influencer that people feel personally connected with. I watched the Netflix documentary, you know, called The Last chance you and by the fifth or six episodes, I was like cheering for each one of these guys. I just loved them and wait, and you know, it's like, I'm making a personal and they were revealing themselves personally, their struggles and all that. So, exactly. Great lesson. Great lesson. All right. Well, now. Yeah, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.

Jose Salazar 14:22
Yeah, sure. So this actually only started about four years ago. I was having a chat with some friends about investing. Yeah, what should we do? I mean, what do you guys do with your money? Yeah. What? What do you do use? Where do you spend your money? Are you thinking in investing in something to get some gains in the future? Or what do you do? We just say me, so I get a lot of information from different friends. Some people invest in pension plans, some people invest in I don't know betting online betting some people invest in different things, right. But I actually didn't really know at that time where or how to do the stock how to use my money. So out of the blue one day, I had my brother, I have a twin brother, actually, but we are, we're twins. But we are very different people who were born the same day, but we are not equally exactly the same people. But my brother who is also living here in London, he actually introduced me and I via mesh, basically the ADH call of hotelling, which actually is also on my profile where I've been spending three years of my life. So what's happening is, my brother talked to me through this idea, about four years ago, he wanted to be an entrepreneur, basically, he wanted to spend time, and money and things he his brilliant idea. And he involved a little bit, other people came more of his friends. We were actually in the beginning of with this idea. We were about 25 people. So we met, we met like for cafes, we met for drinks in France house around London, and my brother was there, showing us what he wanted to do. What was his idea? He wanted to start up a business within the hospitality industry, which he was where we were actually working at the time. But online recruitment, basically, he wanted to do something different. Other online platforms that were back in the days, we're talking about 2014, the end of 2014. And he said, Yeah, I mean, I'm really sure this is gonna work. This is we are going to create an app, we're going to create a website, and this idea is gonna smashed into the market, we're gonna turn the market upside down, we first within the hospitality recruitment. So keep going up, my brother has a personality that he's really good at speaking. And he's really good at convincing people in a way. Back in the days, I was also a bit of enthusiastic about his idea. I wanted to help him as well. And I thought, Yeah, why not? I mean, let's let's do something on the back of what we are actually doing with our current jobs. But I have also my spare time, why not to spend it on this idea, and not paying a penny at the moment. And I am thinking that this could be successful. Right, so we started 25 people. And at the end, in about a year from 35 people, we were only four people in the table. So from those four people, we have a meeting. And in that meeting was when my brother said, okay, we've been a year talking about this idea, but we actually had done nothing. So I think we need to start thinking about money. So that was a moment when from those four people, we were less three. Because one of the guys why rather put on the table, the business plan. One of our friends who was there talking about this idea and giving feedback to my brother and all that he said, How much are we gonna look at? And in a moment my brother took the figures was when this guy said, Okay, I'm out of this. As I say, the same way that previous 22 people left that's when the idea of interpreters because, you know, like, it's not the same thing to say we are going to create a company but you don't need to put up any but we are going to create a company. It's not just your F four, but you also need to put some money. So this is basically we were left three of us. And at the end we decided to go through Yeah, putting some money is kind of the first three months, I spend about 2000 pounds, myself from my savings, my rather spend another 2000 and our other business partner as well put some to that. So we put about 6000 between all of us and really say to go want to step up. So we went to Creating pay money to a website designer to create a website, we pay money to some social media, most Facebook, all of that. And what happened is, when we have started to put in the money, it was not all on the same time. So we were putting first some 300 pounds, then some other 200, we didn't put the whole 2000 at the same time. And that was a moment when there was there was a situation where we actually needed more money, because to launch a business, their daddy and my brother thought it was creating a website, creating an app, making it running properly, and we need to buy money and time and the money we thought it was you know, it was actually not really enough. So we went to a loan with a bank, with a startup loans company, these are the startup firms that they lend you some money. And then a very long term like you can pay back within three years, but you pay back on your personal from your pocket from your personal finances, it's not like a business loan where all the shareholders are actually owning the money and then the company maybe won't, it will go into liquidation. And whatever happened with the money you might pay back, you might not. But these are the same when it comes to your own personal finances. So we went through this long, I'm not going to talk about the money we went through alone, but it was actually it was some amount of money now that we were hoping to, to make it useful for this. So this was my investment. Basically, my investment started with a very small start amount to run cash flow in the beginning. And then with the big amount with the long which I actually nearly finished, I think just a couple of months to beta back Italy at the moment. But I do want to beta for a bit. But you've been rather than me I started nearly about to finish today. But yeah, that was that was the beginning of all of this. It was in that times. I won't call it that the worst my worst investment or like my worst IV of going into interpret and see the why they took the fish or not putting that risk no my life. Because at that time, actually we leave on the project, I really believe in it. I was enjoying the process, I was actually enjoying it, I was really enjoying. It was deciding I was going to be my brother with my business partners, we were going to an office. So the problem we thought of this intrapreneur see situation, he said, you put the money within three or three shareholders, the three people who are going to run the company to run a company you need to you need to know how to run it first. And you need to know who is going to do what Yep, so the important thing here was to make it the business happening in a way of all the decisions has to be agreed between the three between the three partners, right? So the efficient we're taking from all of us, we were not having that time back in the days, I think we were not having the knowledge I would say of taking right the features and for example, to give examples. We went through a rent and company I rent an office company my brother decided that we needed to use some office space for a company that actually we're not even having any esteem on revenue. We're not just having trading we're not trading yet any monies back when we started but the idea was let's just do this great. Let's do this big M we agree the three of us that Yeah, a rental company could be a good thing too. For the image of the business so we want to work with renting a rental office and if we got clients and then invite them to interviews in the office if we need to hire people or be different it sounds like she'll be exactly as he was beautiful but it obviously was costing some money. So what rate to do that

Andrew Stotz 24:43
what like when was the day when you realized it wasn't gonna work?

Jose Salazar 24:54
So did they have been was when the business partners my other two business partner We're not keen on Continue. And myself as well. I mean, I also actually found that we are losing money here, even with our clients, because at the end, we made some people we met some people doing in the platform, by the cash flow. He was an assignment. So I realized at that moment, I was looking at the figures, and I realized we are gonna need to do more money from our pocket to keep this business running. So I had enough with a long, I knew it was a big amount of money to finish today. I spoke to my business partner, and then they told me they weren't very keen on. On continue, that was a moment when not doing I feel it. But when I saw that face of two of them, same, the same feeling that they have. And I said, Okay, so if we had to do we the same feeling is that yeah.

Andrew Stotz 25:57
So tell me the lessons. Tell me the lessons that you learn from this.

Jose Salazar 26:01
So I think the big takeaway I would say in lesson is to first when you start intrapreneur seemed like a business opportunity, when somebody could you be such opportunity in the table, whether it's your family member, whether it if you're somebody who you now from I don't know, whoever puts you on business opportunity to do an intrapreneurship project. Always, always before put in the morning. And before going into alarm, check the returns, check the forecast, do your research, go through whatever you need to go to make the efficient. And also think about if you are, if your mind, if you're mentally ready to do that, if you are mentally ready. And it means if you are going to have the time, if you think you're going to be able to put up with the stress, fights with anxiety and things we do with our business partners. Because one of the things I learned from this is, it's also important not to lose time in in getting into fights with partners in which

Andrew Stotz 27:12
is so true that in the startup environment, it's just very emotional,

Jose Salazar 27:18
you know, very emotional and everything is

Andrew Stotz 27:21
ultimately it's a challenge to your idea or your management skill, or you know, whatever. And it can be tough.

Jose Salazar 27:27
That's right, and try to keep your cool, always keep your cool, don't get, don't lose your timing in damaging relationship and yourself. Feeling cool, say this is just money. Life is much bigger than money.

Andrew Stotz 27:41
So maybe I'll share, you know, some of the things that I took away from your story, I was just writing down a few things. First one I wrote down is don't be the only shareholder or don't be as a major shareholder. I think when you do a startup, you want to make sure there's other sizable shareholders. Otherwise, it all comes back to you or you and a couple of other people. And it can be very, very tough. The second the second thing I wrote down the word sell, sell, you know, you got to sell businesses is the proof. So And the third thing is I just wanted to go through recently, I went through all of my podcasts, interviews, identify the ones that were related to starting up, you know, startup business, and I tried to identify what were the most common mistakes that they made. So I've got six of them, would you like to hear him? So first, first mistake, bad hiring decisions. second mistake, poor management of time and people. third mistake ineffective teamwork and collaboration. And I'm just thinking about fourth mistake is kind of where I feel like I really, that's why I wrote down sells, because the fourth mistake is they waited too long to start selling. Yeah. And you know, I would say, out of the six, you know, that's the one really that it's the ultimate validation. So I think a big lesson that I take away is it reminds me that sell your product. First, before you get a desk before you start a business. just sell. Yeah. And if you don't have something to sell, then go sell someone else's. That's similar, you get some experience in it and think about does this sell. So that's my thoughts in regard to that.

Jose Salazar 29:33
Definitely relate that I relate that naturally, we started the business, let's say you say we started the house from the high quality from the lower instead of from sorry, from the top instead of from the other. So we we should have be more humble and yeah,

Andrew Stotz 29:50
it's hard. You know, you get your dreams. And I want to ask you the next question, keeping in mind that there's people listening to this podcast that do have their dreams right now. They're excited, they've got an idea, you know, but they're also kind of going down the same road as you were. And I'm gonna want you to think about them. Now, as I asked you this question, based upon what you learn from this story and what you continue to learn what one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate.

Jose Salazar 30:19
So if you are going through an intrapreneurship project with people and you are, maybe you're stuck, or you guys don't know what to do next, I think I would, one of the things I learned is you really need to put time and passion. It means you, you can't get distracted, you need to focus on the area, like you Andrew mentioned, you need to set and one of the important things is avoid taking, making mistakes with money, don't spend money, unless you got something already, unless you've got people supporting your business. So start humble, but you need to spend time you need to believe in what you want to do. When you think about this is gonna be my future. That's probably Great.

Andrew Stotz 31:09
All right, last question. What's your number one goal for the next 12? months?

Jose Salazar 31:14
Very, very good question. So my number one goal probably is to get better. My Fitness life, because I used to do a lot of running, I was doing triathlon was streaming, this COVID Times has kind of posts littered with all of these things that I was doing in the past. So one of the goals now is to get back on track. How I was before COVID. And probably the other goal on a professional level is continue growing what I'm doing continue growing my career within within marketing industry, which is actually my passion, as you know. So yeah, just keep keep track of what I'm doing. continue sharing my stories with people continue helping others assimilators that's what they learn more to help other people.

Andrew Stotz 32:17
Beautiful. And that's good advice for everybody. You know, there's two things there. First one, get your health. You know, COVID has been tough, I think what I've tried to do is get, you know, luckily, in Bangkok, we never had any, we had a brief curfew for a period of time, but generally you can go out. And so I just made it, I made it a habit of walking out my door every morning at 5am. And so I do that every single day, whether I'm on a bicycle, whether I'm walking to the gym, or going to yoga class, which we had, but recently been shut down for a bit. So that's good. And then, you know, helping people through your business is just another, you know, great thing that we all should be doing so great. All right, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listener to reduce risk in your life. So go to my worst investment ever.com right now and download the risk reduction checklist and see how you measure. As we conclude Jose, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Jose Salazar 33:34
Just keep following your passions. And yeah, stay healthy. wake up early in the morning. It will help you. Yeah,

Andrew Stotz 33:43
beautiful. Well, that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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