Paul has *way* too much fun running his business. Take a page from his book and learn how to channel your passion, drive and sense of play into your brand, your business and your relationships through his high-voltage story.
Length: 80 minutes
Paul is an extremely energetic, passionate digital marketer. He loves all things tech and digital, and is constantly creating content – by which we mean awesome video, blogs, presentations, and social posts and ads. He runs Ramondo Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Facebook ads.
Paul got started in digital marketing way back in the MySpace era. He used it to promote music events in his awkward ‘emo music days’. Before that, he got interested in content by animating stick figures fighting each other. He’s loved all things tech since he can remember, but like many of us, he studied something else.
Following the ‘get a good job’ playbook, Paul studied accounting in Uni and ended up with a double major in Financial Accounting & Marketing, and a double minor in Business Law & Economics.
He thought he was going to become an accountant all the way through school until…
“Then I did the last year of my degree in Australia and realised I just [bleeping] hated accounting.”
– Paul Ramondo
So Paul went with his gut and took spent some time saving up and applying for marketing jobs.
Seven months. That’s how long Paul applied for marketing jobs – all while working at a bakery, working as a DJ, and even selling phones at one of those shopping centre cubicles. (He loved it all, but the way).
“Rejection helps you find balance between ego and humility. Ego (yeah, I got through this!), and humility (learn to deal with rejection).”
Of course two job offers came at the exact same time. Of course they pitted Paul’s passion against the prospect of better pay. And of course they both wanted to hear back within 24 hours.
Paul had to choose between a position at a promising Social Media startup, and an Automotive Holdings group. The Agency promised fun & freedom, the Auto group promised $8k more per year. He chose the Social agency.
“Always go with what makes you happy, and what you’re going to get the best emotional return on investment from.”
– Paul Ramondo
Flash forward a few years and some great client results, and Paul’s getting bored. He moved to Melbourne and got caught in the dead spin of job searching again – this time for 8 months. This time, the reason for rejection was that he was overqualified.
“Then I turned 25 in 2015. It was Jan 1 or 2, while I was on holiday over East. All of a sudden I thought ‘What the [bleep] am I doing with my life? I’m not getting any enjoyment out of this. I’m not fulfilled. I’m getting nothing back. No one’s even answering my emails.’”
– Paul Ramondo
So he reached out. He got a hold of Nick Bowditch, who worked for Facebook. Nick told him “What are you doing? You don’t want to work for someone else! Start a business!”
Paul resisted at first (he wanted a job at Instagram), but the seed was planted. Eventually he thought to himself:
Q. “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I start a business?”
A. I move back in with my parents. (Who said that would be fine).
Q. “What if I go bankrupt?”
A. Australia has awesome support networks.
The eventual realisation:
“The great thing about being an Australian citizen is that – even if you [bleep] up so badly, so monumentally – the WORST thing that can happen to you is that you get paid… by the government… TO LIVE. With free healthcare.”
– Paul Ramondo
It was time to start a business!
Paul sat down with his boss and told him his he planned to start a competing business. Awkward conversation? Nope – the boss supported him all the way.
Funny story – Paul and his ex-boss ended up living together the following month! Listen up, entrepreneurs… your bosses won’t necessarily disown you if you start your own business.
Ramondo Media was born in September 2015!
…And so were Paul’s crazy 80+ hour work weeks! We’re going to flash-forward to a later section of the interview here to tell this part of his story.
The flip-side of having heaps of passion and excitement is that you can work yourself too hard. Paul did just that – with 80hr work weeks for about a year.
He ended up with insomnia, a bad diet, and eventually was operating at about 25% capacity. He burnt out. He burnt out bad.
It was a lesson Paul needed to learn, and it taught him balance. He came back from the fall stronger, and with more control of his business.
Business owners, let this be another reminder – be careful with yourselves!
“Take everything with a grain of salt. Yes, you’ve got to hustle, but you’ve got to take care of yourself.”
– Matt Hanham
Here Paul and Matt talk about accounting as a business owner – namely how hard it is to learn accounting on the spot.
Both Matt and Paul have accounting backgrounds, so they had a huge leg up. But to those of you who haven’t worked a balance sheet – they recommend using Xero, and gert some good advice along the way.
Paul busts out a list of mistakes businesses are making in the world of Digital Marketing:
What you don’t know can cost you BIG in digital advertising – especially social. Small business owners can easily pick up these platforms – and easily waste a lot of money because of little details that can increase your costs and decrease your effectiveness.
“Unless you are your target market, you are NOT your target market”.
– Paul Ramondo.
When making ads or posts for Social Media, what you think might be good may not work AT ALL. Don’t get emotionally attached to your marketing.
But don’t let the new world of digital marketing discourage you…all the old marketing principles still apply. People are behind all social ads, and they work the same way. You’ve just got to apply the old learning across new platforms and technology.
Vlogging is taking the digital world by storm. Entrepreneurs, business owners and brands are putting their stories into video – essentially making their own TV shows.
Paul gives the dirty details about how he got started and what it takes. The good news – you can do it yourself! Paul is self-taught through YouTube. He learned filming, editing, and Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator.
The potentially bad news – vlogging can be very time-consuming. Your first few episodes especially will take a long time. Paul’s tip is to learn a new skill every time you edit a video, and built process templates as you go so each episode is easier than the last.
Paul had to pull back with Vlogs last year because they take too much time. It’s incredibly fun, but it’s got to be treated as a hobby, not a business, he says.
The same principle applies to all kinds of content. Whether you write, post on Social, design images – or do whatever you do, there’s got to be a balance between ‘fun work’ or ‘work work’.
In the world of content production (and business ownership in general), it’s easy to spend lots of time on the parts of it you enjoy. Video production, writing, image editing, chatting with customers… but you’ve GOT to be able to draw a line between what truly helps your business (ROI positive) and what should be counted as ‘fun’ until it does start to support itself.
This dovetails into a big question for a lot of content producers (video & podcast especially). What is the ROI of all their storytelling?
For Paul’s vlog, ROI is negative 15,000%… ‘no joke’ because of the time, money spent on equipment, etc. There is some return when the videos are used for FB ads
BUT (and this is the big but) in terms of brand equity, the return is a lot better. Your equity and your authority goes up a lot when you’re putting out high quality videos and posts.
So for Paul it’s all passion and fun for now, but the view is to build a community and on top of it – a powerful brand.
Would Paul recommend Vlogging and Podcasting?
Would Paul recommend doing it? 100%. Especially if you’ve got a specific goal behind it. If you want to start a Vlog, just pick up your phone and start doing it.
Don’t let excuses like “oh, I’m no good on camera” hold you back. Don’t let a few weird takes turn you off of it. Producing good video is all about putting the time in. Try, try, try again – and remember, if you don’t like what you’ve filmed, you don’t have to post it!
So where does the drive to do all this stuff come from? For Paul, it comes back to his parents and the way he was raised.
He worked in a bakery every day after school to afford his first laptop. When he kicked a football through his aunt’s window, his parents made him pay for it. It all taught him that you can get for yourself what you want – you’ve just got to work for it.
“For anyone who’s not driven – go work a sh**ty job, save a bunch of money, then go no a big old yolo holiday around the world until you figure out what it is you want to do. Find what you love, and attach yourself to it.”
– Paul Ramondo
If Paul was sent into solitary for a year, he’d bring The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. This book is a classic among entrepreneurs, and it teaches you to see your biggest obstacles as your biggest opportunities.
Simply put: Work out what’s not working.
Give yourself a few hours to sit down and have an honest look at what’s working, and what’s not working for your business. Identify where the biggest pain point of your business is (financial, personal, etc.) and get answers to why that problem exists and how to solve it.