31 Cents to 43 Countries with Don and Dina Ortiz
Dr. Dina Preston-Ortiz and Don Ortiz have performed in 43 countries through their company, DEO Entertainment Group. Their practical experience includes speaking, teaching, and working with corporations, entrepreneurs and small business owners in multicultural virtual leadership and team development, sales, marketing, management, and business development while managing tours and performances for the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department and Fortune 500 companies.
On a more personal side, Dina and Don are professional musicians. They write and perform with The Dina Preston Band for corporate meetings and industry events and international for various United States government entities and corporate giants.
Be sure to pick up a copy of their book 31 Cents to 43 Countries. This chronicles Dr. Dina and Don’s journey from performing as street musicians to meeting and starting with only 31 cents in their pockets collectively. To performing in 43 counties and 26 global tours without a management or record deal. By working with the Department of Defense Armed Forces Entertainment division, U.S. Stee Department and Fortune 500 companies they bring a message of how-to guide and lead SUCCESS in dynamic environments.
Full Transcript Below
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (00:01):
Hey, good afternoon. And welcome to another episode of the business of business podcast. We’ve got some awesome guests today. We’re going to have Dawn and Dr. Dina or teas on. They have just written a book 31 cents to 43 countries. And I can’t wait to jump in. I’ve already got my own page full of notes here, but before we get, uh, kinda off in the book, uh, why don’t, y’all tell, y’all have such an interesting background. Why don’t you all tell us a little bit about each one of you please.
Dina Ortiz (00:31):
Oh, well, thank you. We appreciate it. And Roy, thanks for having us today. We’re excited to talk with your audience. So we do have an interesting background actually started out in the music business as a student musician. So if you read our book 31 cents to 43 countries, you’ll know that I actually landed in the tender blinds of San Francisco at the age of 18.
And if you know anything about San Francisco, that is not the best part of town to be landing in. Um, but I worked my way out. Um, ended up going to a city college there. I actually went to San Francisco to go to Berkeley, but, uh, the tuition was too expensive as an out-of-state student. So in between my city college classes, I went onto fishermen’s more and I became a street musician, and I actually started learning a lot about business as a result of being a street musician.
Um, I met Don, uh, I love to sound less San Francisco to San Diego started my first country country rock band, and, um, left there. We were picked up by an agent out of Minnesota, very early on, and I lost a guitar steel player. Um, when I was on the road, my first road trip up through Northern, uh, us and Canada and, uh, came back home to Phoenix to find another musician. And I met.
Don Ortiz (01:44):
Yeah. And of course it was great. I actually met Dina through her voice first. Um, I was doing a production work here in Arizona for concerts and events. And, uh, my lighting director friend at the celebrity theater said, I’ve got this now it’s got an incredible voice.
She can probably utilize your talent. I think you guys would be a good fit. And I kept on saying no, no, no. And then about a month later he brought a cassette tape back then. Uh, that’s how old, uh, I heard the cassette and I, I thought, wow, this is Bonnie Raitt meets with the F the bridge, uh, you know, uh, type voice.
And it really struck me. I thought, yeah, let’s, let’s arrange that meeting. And here we are, 31 years later, I actually celebrating. So, you know, and who would’ve thought 43 countries on top of that, that’s,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (02:43):
That’s such an awesome story.
Dina Ortiz (02:45):
It’s, it’s a, it’s a fun starting when he joined my band about five weeks into it. He said, you know, I really think, um, and I’m not gonna give it all away. It’s in the book, but I think it’s time probably for you to move on. Why don’t you come with me? We’ll start a band together.
And literally by the time we left, I think it was Wyoming was ours was our last stop before I left my band and hooked up with Don. Um, literally by the time we got to him, his home state, Delaware, we literally had 31 cents in our pockets and that’s how we started our business. So that’s how we got the title.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (03:19):
Yeah. That’s what I was going to ask you is that it’s an interesting title. So, uh, now that we know how you got that, well, if, if y’all don’t mind, I mean, if you want to do, um, an intro to the book, that’s fine. If not, we can just jump right in. Like I said, I have got a, um, I’ve already got my list of questions. So, uh, do you want to give a little intro into the book?
Dina Ortiz (03:40):
All right. So what, uh, so, um, a couple of years ago, um, uh, started poking me to write a book and I said, you know, Don, he, he kept thinking, you know, we have an interesting story, so much of American history, and we’ve done it, you know, as regular people, you know, we’re not diplomats, we’re not famous musicians, but we have really been an experience from, in part of American history, all over the world.
As a result of working with the department of defense, you have state departments, corporate entities. And he said, I think people would be interested. And I kept saying, no, nobody cares. Nobody’s interested. You know, we’re just regular people. He finally got me to do it. Um, so I wrote a book, a book, um, and us to use our stories as a gateway, uh, to share and teach business.
And as you know, I haven’t thought along the way, I got my MBA and my doctorate in business professor college professor. So we really married. We start with stories and then we marry that with, um, business theories application that anybody can use managers, um, hopefully marketing. Um, if you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, these are really great tips, uh, that anybody is applied and hopefully it’s an enjoyable book, right? The stories are enjoyable, but we also give you some takeaways.
Don Ortiz (04:54):
It’s not your normal business book. You know, you’re actually going into very foreign lands, a lot of the con where it is a chaotic event that we turn into a successful moment. That’s drastic, uh, sometimes very dangerous. Uh, you know, so you’re, it’s not your average storytelling. And then the takeaways that we have after each story that you can apply, like Dina said, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a CEO, or a team management group, you’re able to apply these today. And that’s the most important thing with what’s happening today. Right?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (05:30):
Right. Exactly. Yeah. And just a little bit more background y’all were actually worked, did some work with the department of defense and I guess the USO playing musical gigs for the troops. And I guess the, uh, diplomats overseas, is that correct?
Dina Ortiz (05:48):
Right. We picked up in 1993, we’ve got additions here in Arizona. I think we were one of three bands that they addition gear and they decided to, they told us that night
Speaker 4 (05:58):
We were going, um, it was on enforces into their payment. So it was desert storm one. And as a result of that and getting actually lost in Singapore, we able, we were able to create a 15 year relationship with them. Then that transferred over into a relationship with the us state department, where we became ambassadors of Goodwill, uh, through cultural exchanges.
And then when I got my doctorate, um, take apart with the stuff and asked me to start giving lectures and teaching abroad regarding business ownership and entrepreneurship, which is really, you know, been a joy. So now we get to do both. And as you know, we still play music.
We’re still, yeah, we’re actually also we get to write a song or that’s where we actually have artists from their countries. Join us. So you’re joining cultures, you’re building relationships, you’re creating long-term relationship, maybe, uh, at the table that normally wouldn’t have happened all because of what we’re doing and people having the foresight to put that together and see that we can really connect with people because after all it is about touching people.
Right. Right. And we’re all pivoting turning right now, even in a personal boat, we’ve been doing virtual, you know, um, stitch work for over 25, 30 years. And actually Dean is one of the first pioneered online professors back when it first started, she was getting her doctorate degree while we were on tour, like in Afghanistan, teaching in Armenia or Azerbaijan and, and Rhea. I mean, it’s been amazing to, to know what we’ve been able to deal with. We’re helping people to actually manage a better work-life balance.
Speaker 4 (07:40):
This is not new to us. We’ve been doing this for such a long time. So it began by information that as we become more senior in our careers, we’re so happy to get back and help anybody we can.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (07:52):
And that’s evident. I mean, it’s, uh, you all had a great, um, great mission, you know, helping deliver entertainment to the troops, but also, uh, kind of, you know, music is the international language. I think everybody, no matter where you’re from. So, I mean, you know, joining cultures through music out, what a awesome life y’all have been able to live.
Speaker 4 (08:12):
Very blessed. Even as of June 14th of flag day, this past year, we actually have our name on a USO monument along the date, alongside Lucille ball, biggie, Rooney, Jane Russell, and Miller. Oh. Um, and it’s just been an amazing, we would have never thought our name, the Dean of Preston ban would be on a USL monument, let alone the only USO monument in the world official.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (08:40):
Oh, that is great. Yeah. Well, let’s jump into this. Uh, I mean, because you all found your passion through music and music is your passion, but one of the first things that y’all talk about is, you know, finding your internal compass. And, you know, I hear this from so many people they’re in jobs. They hate, you know, I hate to get up on Monday. I’ve been fortunate all my life that, you know, uh, I like to get up on Monday because I’ve had good jobs, but, you know, finding that internal compass, your passion, uh, talk a little bit about that.
Dina Ortiz (09:15):
So I think it’s important, especially if you start a small business, nourish the board, even if you’re going to go to work with somebody else, I tell my students, you have to find out that, that passion for something, either we have the talent for it equal, it will drive you.
I don’t want to drive you to make you better. So, right. You know, Don and I both had a natural talent for music. I had a natural talent for singing early, but I still wasn’t a good enough pro and learn that one about a third. So I knew I had, I knew I needed to enhance that. When I started getting, no’s not good enough, this is why for people in the industry, I went and found somebody to take me out of this thing.
I could really hone in on that talent. Right. As a result of that, I have maintained my voice, a strong voice for 30 years. I’ve known the loss. I know how I was doing. And with Don as a star player, um, we started a little earlier than I did. I started in my TNC started. Okay.
Don Ortiz (10:10):
Wow. Yeah. I was actually Woodstock. Oh my gosh. You know, so you can find that out in the book, what that experience was like and why it made such an impression on me from that moment on, uh, to be the guitarist and performer I am today. And I think, uh, because being in the music business is having a wide palette. Yeah.
Dina Ortiz (10:34):
I think too, um, you know, Don learn very differently. I enjoyed reading and then I enjoy applying in your textbook, you know, um, professor Don under the editor on the other hand, really listens and learns, um, your music because as a musician, right?
So my recommendation is to find what your passion is by what your challenges, and then continue to go to school and, or learn through books, through videos, whatever it is, whatever your learning modality is to continue to hone that skill.
You’re at the top of your game and when you’re at the top of your game, and you’re really good at what you do, even if you get a no, even if you get a door slammed in your face, you’re going to keep going, right. Because you have to keep going. I don’t know how else to describe. I actually talk about it in like, look, my dad used to come out when he would visit in San Francisco to watch me perform on the street.
And he would just shake his head, like, why are you out here 10 hours a day and making so little money you’re crazy. And it was like, yeah, but you don’t understand, this is not about the money. This is the passion that I have for music. I’m going to do it hard. Is it to give me money? My job is figure out how to make money doing it. Yeah.
Don Ortiz (11:37):
I think we’re both really good at doing the business side of it too. That was a big part. You know, there’s a lot of artists and people in the industries that are really great at their talent, but they don’t, they don’t get the business part of it
Dina Ortiz (11:50):
To anything to do. Just music. Yeah. You hear so
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (11:54):
Many horror stories about artists that, you know, get taken advantage of because they don’t understand that business aspect. So that is good. And, you know, finding your passion, it, it does help you. Um, if you believe in it, when you do get those nos, you’re able to keep pushing on.
And then also, you know, I’ve been a lifelong learner myself. And so even if you’re at the top of your game, things change so much that you really have to be committed to staying on top of it, staying out in front of it because, you know, um, well I guess, you know, well, IBM has been able to, uh, get into computers, but like the punch card business, if they hadn’t adapted, you know, how busy would they be today trying to survive on punch card business?
So, you know, you have to be able to adapt. And I think that’s where the learning. Um, and we’re so lucky at this environment, you don’t have to go to college or to, uh, an institution to learn. You’ve got, there’s so much available, you know, even on YouTube and on the internet, that we’re very fortunate that we can always and blogs. I mean, I listen to a lot of blogs and podcasts and get a lot of great information.
Dina Ortiz (13:04):
You bet, and there’s a lot. And for those that maybe are in their careers already, and don’t want to go back to a university, you know, community, local community colleges with occupational divisions and business is a great and inexpensive way to do a deep dive on some of the things that you’re interested in.
And you get out not only with information, but a lot of times you can get out of those certificates that even if you don’t go into business for yourself, you put those certificates on your resume and organizations are looking at those kinds of things, because we know collectively small businesses hire more than corporations do.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (13:34):
Yeah. You know, and it’s funny, uh, you can probably understand this with your travel, but I, I spoke with the guy a couple of weeks ago that he took six months off when he was younger and traveled Africa and some other countries overseas. And there, you know, everybody told him this is a career killer.
He had a really good job, but they told him it was a career killer. You’ll never recover. And you know, it was just doom and gloom. But he said, when he came back and started applying whenever he would go out and, um, to interview, he said, they only wanted to talk about his travel and all that extracurricular stuff, not just his education or his background. So, you know, those life experiences are very important. No matter if we’re in. And even if you’re an entrepreneur solopreneur, when you go out and meet with the prospect, you need something.
I do. I like to try to connect with everybody. So instead of just talking about my product or my service, it’s like, if we have these life experiences, we can try to connect with other individuals. And I think that’s very important.
Dina Ortiz (14:39):
That’s such a good, that’s such a good recommendation, right. Because you’re right. You have to find common ground first. Right. And do that. Um, I’ve been to say that in a lot of time working, I need a business card. I’m looking for a deal before we, you know, we just kind of see where that common ground build the relationship.
Right. So there’s a trust spot there. Yeah. So a way in Europe or Asia, you know, the way you handle somebody in business card can make or break a deal instantly. Yeah. Even though they’ll have dinner with you and do the whole conversation, you’ve already ruined it. So those are things that we also put in our book that people understand when you go to other cultures, other countries, or the way you deal with things in make or break and even create a long lasting relationship. That really.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (15:29):
Yeah. And I think even if we’re doing business with local people, you know, we really need to, uh, uh, look them up. We need to get the information so we know who we’re dealing with, but when you travel overseas, I’m sure you all can attest that. That goes probably 10 steps even further, because cultures can be so different. It doesn’t make one right or wrong. It just means that we are in their culture. All of a sudden we have to be respectful of what their traditions are.
Dina Ortiz (15:59):
Exactly. And, you know, right. That’s a great word because I think respect, but if you’re respectful, like that will get you everywhere.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (16:07):
Right. Exactly. So another thing that y’all talk about is being purposeful. And, um, if, if you could expound on that just a little bit more
Dina Ortiz (16:17):
Sure. I think being purposeful and I think, um, good example of this is when we were flying into Afghanistan and, um, we know that nothing to, toward the pilot, um, from getting up in the fight itself and is when, when it is very tricky, uh, they actually call it the toilet bowl.
Uh, well, the reason why is that literally, uh, people getting shot 5% of mouth was, but remember we were going in at the time when I’ve done it for two was on, it was at the beginning a year later about a year later. And they literally new toilet bowl. That’s like, you’re going right down. And we’ve got all the deep fitting you. And no matter what was going on, no matter what was, you know, shaking in the plane, those pilots, laser focused, and nothing did pulled from that.
When you have problems when you have issues when you have challenges like we’re having right now. Open that each week, you know, which of end games. It doesn’t matter what, while you get under it, you go around it, you become water big as though that really is the last one.
Dina Ortiz (17:29):
I picked it up. Chap
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (17:30):
Dina Ortiz (17:34):
Yeah. It’s the fact that we were off the radar.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (17:37):
Right, right. Yeah. The other thing I loved the, the power of joy and, um, you know, that’s one message try to live it, but I also try to, you know, give this to others is that we can’t put others in charge of our joy, because if we let other people upset us or make our day turn bad, you know, that’s really on us about how we react to others. So talk a little more about, you know, kind of incorporating the power of joy.
Dina Ortiz (18:08):
Okay. Uh, we used two examples in our book. Uh, one was from the Island of cannabis, which most people don’t know where that’s happened in the South Pacific. And, um, we just noticed that, that there, if you’ve been careful, there’s some definitely some challenges there.
Um, uh, the water it’s starting to Steve and Diane have problems with, um, fishing. And that’s how the week the living, of course, um, the Island is a bit overcrowded, but, um, the Outlanders have to actually leave the Island when they, um, mature to find work elsewhere. So they can’t stay on the Island, but there was a tent on the Island. They laugh, they love using their joyful, no matter the challenges, they overcame them with joy and laughter.
Um, the second and third had to do with the military one with her at the theater. Um, and we’re doing that a shout in the military, those bring the channels up, um, to kind of have a little fun with that.
Dina Ortiz (19:06):
And the big stick back then was to have the generalist sing with me. I, man, I feel like a woman. And so with generals would get up in front of their platoon thinking, man, I feel like a woman, which was a big song. You should have seen the platoons. You know, the privates and the people on out of their seats and the genuine, you know. The, the Jones understood that for a moment in time, they needed to allow their soldiers, their air force personnel to relax right around the theater constantly.
You know, going, going, going, and being purposeful. But there’s a time when you have to relax and leaders have to be able to laugh at themselves. Right. You know, at the appropriate time, of course, yes. They need to be able to have that fun in the sun,
Don Ortiz (19:48):
You know, uh, that, that for that moment, there’s no yes. Or how Heister, uh, also they lose their nickname. Cause everybody in the military has a nickname. Uh, they represent their country, their County or state it all in that moment. You know, they understand why, you know, we’re bringing music from home and when you’re creating that moment with a leader, it’s just outstanding because don’t remember that in the field, we’ve had people actually tell us, you know, we were taking on live fire and here we were laughing about the general singing, man. I feel like a woman.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (20:24):
Right, right. Yeah. You know, I think as leaders, even in the business world, we, we have to learn not to take ourselves so serious and uh, we need to be able to have a little fun. And like you said, it’s, it has to be the appropriate time, but we, you know, we can cut up and we can be human. We can be fallible. We need to be all people know that we are those things. So we might as well own up to it. You know, we’re not hiding it. We’re not hiding our, uh, people. Aren’t going to not think that we’re perfect if we don’t act. Right.
Dina Ortiz (20:56):
And I, I agree with the writer. I think the third story, which probably is my favorite is the one we were giving a concert in Oregon to a group of veterans and Marines that were getting ready to be a. Pascal has been the next day. And we know that a large number of them did not come back at night. You would have never guessed what they were facing because Bob on stage with us, like you and they were doing the risky business slide across the stage zero.
It just taught me for me that like they’re living in the moment. They’re not thinking one second for granted, I’m scared. They’re going to make the class. It wasn’t like four or five guys on stage interacting, dancing, cracking up, cracking the audience out because they were having done with well, yeah. I mean, no, right.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (21:57):
Yeah. Yeah. We definitely should. Even in, uh, you know, even in a non-combat environment because we never know, you never know. And I actually, um, uh, there’s a guy that makes a coin that I carried that says, you know, this could be your last day. We never know. And I don’t carry it as a downer or derogatory. I think I carried as a reminder that, you know, we need to live every day for everything.
And um, we don’t, you know, we always want to put things off. Well, I’m going to wait to do this, wait to do that. There’s never a perfect time. Just like starting a business. Well, I’m going to wait till the environment changes. You know what? There’s never going to be a perfect time to step out and do it. You got to do your research and have your base. But at some point you just got to jump out there.
Dina Ortiz (22:44):
It’s catchy. It’s why we take no means next opportunity. Okay.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (22:48):
Exactly. Yeah. Well, and there’s actually a guy wrote a book. It says getting to know because to the end. Oh no, because what he was saying was, if I get to know, then I know that you’re not interested and I can move on, but this may be, you know, kind of wasting that time. So sometimes getting to know, excuse me, is the better, faster answer so we can move on to the next opportunity.
Dina Ortiz (23:14):
I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, we talk about that with millennial buyers now that are in the market place. And oftentimes, um, and I’ve worked with millennials, I worked with a multi diverse group, age group of, um, students, um, colleagues and clients.
And one of the challenges with millennials is they don’t like to pick up the phone and talk live or bad news. They have a problem delivering bad news. Yeah. But I’ve talked to share with them that we’re okay with. No, you know, we don’t think that personally, it could be the wrong buying cycle. We could be the wrong product. We’re fine with that. But tell us, because if you don’t dial in you, we’re going to keep bugging you. Right. Because that’s what we,
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (23:49):
Right. Right. So another thing that y’all should know a lot about is the, uh, having order in chaos and especially if y’all have been overseas in some of these, uh, war zones, then, you know, how do we, uh, how do we keep order and not let chaos take us over?
Dina Ortiz (24:09):
Right. Uh, we experienced that a lot. Um, I think, and it’s very easy to get pulled to, especially when there’s a lot going on. So again, I think it was our example in Egypt when we were coming off like an Egypt and, um, the local political, just in the top of the middle, the local one, just to kind of zero in on you to help you with your bags.
When we needed to travel, we would travel with the piece of equipment in there. They only four of us that is our speed pace and all of our sound equipment and musical instruments. So imagine meeting 10, 15 children under foot, they’re trying to count with faces. You’re trying not to be pulled away to make sure how to fix anything. Um, and you know,
Don Ortiz (24:49):
Other distractions. So you kind of 17 hour flight. Yeah,
Dina Ortiz (24:52):
Absolutely. Um, what happened with it? Our, um, our ongoing, uh, that with me, he didn’t really ask him to show his credentials. We just, you know, he looked the part, Oh, he said, Hey, Dina, I need to take everybody’s passport. And I need to drive across to another area to get all the equipment approved before we bring it in. Um, so there I go and Dawn’s looking up at me going, I just thought my wife and I owe all of our passports. Right. We didn’t really know him. Right. Right. And we, and it happened so quickly. Really?
Don Ortiz (25:27):
I was done. I went into like that shock, like, Oh my God. Just left for just guys in our equipment or basket. And just that, that started happening. Don’t, you know, policemen started asking for passports on the sidewalk. Oh my gosh. Just stuck. And she drove away. So yeah. You have to read that one because I’ll tell you, that’s how we got out of it and, and how we made it a good thing. Yeah.
Dina Ortiz (25:49):
Who we learned from that experience in order to do that, now we have three meetings with our sisters where we’re recording. We actually put things on, um, on the board, things that we’ve experienced, but they might experience and any questions that they might have or anything that they, their own college experience is shared. So we pre plan.
Right. And so I really hope that the cows, because they’re going into an experience, you might not be prepared or you might have a little history that you can draw from. So that’s really important. We’ve also, we’ve also learned to assign tasks and roles for our musicians. So when we travel, um, this team is going to take care of Canada equipment. This team Don are going to be handling the client.
This team’s going to be handling this. So we start delegating responsibilities for things that we know that are going to occur. Can we not find out that this TV outcome of what the exact issue is, but we know that we’re going to have to get suitcases off and get them through no. Going to have to deal with the client. Yeah.
So that helped the pre-planning executing the planning teams and then following up, making sure historically that you’re following up again, because when you do that, you can add to the history for the next tour. So we’ve found that really helped again with creating the third fourth.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (26:59):
Yeah. And I think that goes a long way with business that, um, you know, we need to create a plan. It’s not set in stone and should be flexible. A living document, but you know, kind of the old saying is that, you know, you have to have a plan and you have to work that plan.
And, um, because as an entrepreneur, solo preneur, somebody starting out, a lot of times, what I see is they live in, um, they live in chaos and they began to think that’s where they reside all the time. They give up the planning portion and then two things usually happen either. At some point, the business is so out of control it crashes or they crash as a person. So think that’s very important.
Yeah. I think that’s very important to try to bring order to, you know, try to keep as much. It’s not always going to be perfect. I get that. But
Dina Ortiz (27:52):
No, no. In fact, we meet regularly all the time, every morning about it. Um, we’re trying to make the wheel better. Right. It’s changing. Like you said, it should be a living document. It’s a living, breathing business. Right. And it’s changing, especially in a college environment.
Right. Pop up how we’re going to ask people. And then if there are issues, we address the issues. And then we put that back into our history so we can use it. [inaudible] I think, um, rock star really can be real fake or all these ideas going on in their head. Right. Oftentimes they don’t, which goes back to the idea of why do we have to take one plan across the roadmap, right. When you can do that, you do that.
This is kind of as if it was anything distinct to death, I have to keep whatever other one at that now how to do it well, and then you can add the other part of your podcast is growing your businesses and yep.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (29:08):
Right, exactly. So, uh, you know, we talked a little bit about relationships earlier, but you know, um, it’s important that we leverage relationships. I think, uh, referrals, I, I think of relationships as referral opportunities and it’s more to them.
I mean, we have to have relationship to get the business and start out, but also it’s the, uh, re referrals are usually the cheapest, um, acquisition of new customers. So if we really leverage those, we have out there, you know, we have to build them first, but then we need to know how to leverage those,
Dina Ortiz (29:47):
That, and Dawn is absolutely great at that.
Don Ortiz (29:51):
Yeah. Um, I I’ve been really blessed. I don’t know what it is. Um, but we met, uh, uh, a person actually in Azerbaijan. And, uh, from there that relationship, uh, they went to a new post, um, from the U S embassy to Budapest. And, uh, next thing I know we’re getting an email. Do you want to come and rock Budapest?
At the same time, they said, we’d like to have Dina do lectures, entrepreneurship, uh, and American corners and speak at those. So that, that created another opportunity for us. And then from there, uh, he went on to his next post to Fiji and caribous and said, how would you like to come to Fiji and caribous? That time it was going to be Tunga too. Uh, so we’ve been really blessed and that’s through long-term relationship.
Dina Ortiz (30:45):
And I think part of, um, creating long-term relationships is you definitely have to be authentic where you have to be who you are, but more so that’s, that’s a gift. Second, you have to provide it out and quality service. It’s not just to create the relationship.
The relationship is partly based on you being authentic and creating some commonality that we talked about and friendships. But if you don’t have an outstanding product, you can, they’ll be your friends, but they’re not going to have you back. So sometimes we forget that it’s not just about the relationships. You’ve got to have product head and tails above your competition.
And so you can actually leverage your relationships for that as well. Talk to them what work within work, you know, in a way that’s positive for both of you so that they know you are always working on your behalf. The other thing is really effectively is he’s got a background in production, not just as a musician.
So whenever we work with our clients, he pretty much gives them free advice, uh, before the event, during the event and after the event, in terms of production and setting things up and getting things ready, because most clients don’t understand about production and our industry
Don Ortiz (31:49):
Just stressful for them. So making it turnkey where they can actually enjoy their event is, is everything because then you’re giving them peace of mind, right?
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (32:01):
Yeah. That’s when you plan those big events, it’s like, you know, you hold your breath. So when you know that everything is going to come off a ride, and that’s the other thing about relationships is, uh, in like the guy that y’all followed there, uh, he had confidence that you could deliver what you said you were going to deliver.
And so, you know, it’s like, you know, you can maybe find the same product somewhere else, but there’s always that surprise factor. Are they going to show up? Can they deliver what they say? And so that is the great thing about, uh, you know, but we have to be sure to work, to stay on top of that as well. We can’t let anything slide just because we do have a good relationship with somebody
Dina Ortiz (32:41):
Brand is everything and your product is everything. And then having the relationship to balance it, it’s an, a plus, right. That wins all the way back. Yeah. Yeah. They put this big tour together before I said, you know, there was a lot of money invested in that tour. And, um, we’ve had, uh, uh, dust on the, the boot company is plenty.
We had to leave that night, but we were going to get to boot class to do our performance on Sunday. And we were getting to know at every stop there. We just kept, again, being purposeful. We just kept pushing and pushing, pushing and pushing until we figured out a way to get that we actually landed in business. 10:00 AM or 12 o’clock noon performance literally went from the airport to the hotel, took a shower, put on our stage clothes and drove right to the right, to the performance and the concert.
How many, how many bands do you know that would be willing to do that? They’d be complaining how tired they are. They have to stay up all night. Yeah. Army for us know that our clients they’re important and we care about them, but yeah, none of us are going to help them go to the table if we don’t get what they’re moved on. Right. So everybody wins. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (33:56):
So, uh, let’s, we’ll follow up with the, uh, the very last thing is gratitude. And, um, I think going through this, uh, pandemic, I think a lot more people, because I’m just going to say, I hear it a lot more about people trying to practice more gratitude. But also, um, w let’s talk about, we can talk about the gratitude for the big things, but also taking stock of the little things that, you know, we’re, we’re thankful for our health and for our income and for all of that.
But it’s great for entrepreneurs, especially to stop and think about those small victories every day. You know, not only think about the things that went wrong yesterday, but take stock in like, you know what, these five things I pulled off yesterday or my team did, or the company did. And, uh, you know, really be thankful for that as well, because, well, I look at it as driving our attitude, if we’re only focused on what went wrong yesterday.
And I mean, just take a step back and say, we need to think about the whole day because we do, if something went bad, can we fix it? Can we put a plan in place? Is there a process to fix that? But we also have to really celebrate the victories every day.
Dina Ortiz (35:10):
Absolutely. Right. I’ll tell you what a fantastic kid is as alive. You know, we make our, our income by like performances. We’re like performance band when we’re working out speakers. And so that means live performances. Um, everything was out after we had the best two months at Sears, I mean, wonderful.
And then the pandemic and literally everything we would book was wiped out and like men. Yeah. So Don and I had to come together and we had to figure out, okay, what, what can we do with a positive thing that time to just wake up. He had a great cup of coffee where I could go, wow. And go sit outside on my patio where it’s beautiful. I never have time to do that because we’re so busy all the time
Don Ortiz (35:54):
And enjoy serenity for a change.
Dina Ortiz (35:56):
And he’s like, you know, I’m, I’m frigging cause everybody everything’s canceling. Right. And he’s like, yeah, crap costing. Come on out here, sit on the porch. Me. And I’m looking at my beautiful lawn. I’m thinking, wow, we’re safe. Our families are safe. Everybody’s good right now. Everybody’s, you know, we’re working at leaks and other ways we’re still working. Um, you’re right.
You sometimes you gotta look at the very little bit, Hey, we got a phone call today about a gig that’s going to happen to teach 21. Um, we connected with an agent and wants to send us to South Korea, maybe next summer between a rock and roll review of American rock and roll. If you well, not coming in right now, but look at the prospects that we have now.
Don Ortiz (36:34):
Yeah. We’re going to be on a podcast before you today, you know, we’re grateful for you today. Things, you know, uh, and also people have to also realize you still have to get your asking you if you don’t ask you that far from me. Yes or no. Yeah. Yes.
This is disappointing to ask skull that it can be fearful for some people, but I’d rather know the yes or no. Like we talked about earlier and I’m grateful for all the people that I’ve taken the chance when we asked and said yes, but would be more grateful. There’s still our clients and friends. That’s, that’s great. Yeah.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (37:17):
We need to think about to, uh, although we don’t want, um, you know, an eight or 10 month period of downtime to think about things, uh, as a business people. Sometimes we get in this habit of just running and gunning all the time. And, uh, but what, some things that I’ve read in the past is that we actually need that break in our schedule with some mind, uh, being able to take some mindful time for us to spur on the creativity.
And so, um, you know, even when we get through this, it’s really good and, and y’all can speak more from the creative aspect, but it’s good to have that downtime to set and actually think about things.
Don Ortiz (38:01):
Oh yeah. Um, this has been our time that just actually people should be working on their branding, uh, getting, uh, interviews like we’re doing with you today. Um, they should be moving that dial forward to make their business happen because there’s a lot of people that are big business that are not moving their dollars as fast as all business entrepreneur can. Right. And so it’s leveraged time right now, right? This gives you the ultimate time to get yourself in the best magazines to get yourself dated in a situation, a lot of people eyeball. So in your business, in bread
Dina Ortiz (38:38):
Development time for new product services on, right, because you’re going from going at time, you just don’t have the time. Do you have it now that you do think about some of the new product lines and services, you could look for strategic partnerships that if you don’t have them, it might introduce your product or service to a new, uh, consumer, um, find elevate, um, all kinds of has been keeping me doing.
And I think right now, um, uh, for us, we’ve had challenges, uh, certainly the great recession now w when we actually go back and look at our balance sheet, our profit loss sheet, and we look at what, what is going well in terms of making money and what does not move back the blind, but that, okay, this isn’t working anymore. For whatever reason, we need to focus on going put new direction with product and new service, right.
And for small businesses, like Don said, we can do that pretty quickly. And well, during the great potential, a lot of our friends, our friends to buy down, meeting planners, they just, you know, they couldn’t keep it running. We actually got up and that moving forward, the result of that
Don Ortiz (39:46):
Third is streamline and focus on what was making the most income for us. And we honed in on that and made that the bigger brand. Right. And it became the number one brand, which, you know, it was even more important. We found out something ourselves that we didn’t know, and we’ve been able to, you know, uh, generate on that every year and change it, modify it and make it better. Right.
Dina Ortiz (40:11):
And reason of this bottle or the, as it is in front of their chest or logical thought. And on those, you have to know your numbers and you need to be comfortable with numbers. This numbers generally speaking a lot to be honest. Right. And a bit too good.
Don Ortiz (40:29):
Yeah. Yeah. Actually there’s a lot of people don’t know their breakeven point for them to make an ROI.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (40:36):
Yeah. You know, and I talked about this a little before I worked with a client years ago that in his business, you know, I asked him, well, why do you charge this rate? It’s like, well, cause it’s $5 less than what my competitor charges.
I’m like, yeah. But do you know what costs that you have going into this? Are you making money? Are you losing money? Not a clue. And so, you know, setting down with somebody trying to say, okay, how much time does it cost to deliver? What are the costs of the supplies? You know, trying to walk through this whole process. A lot of people just think, uh, you know, my competitor charges, uh, X number of dollars. So we’ll just be a few dollars under it and we’ll be good. But you know, if you’re the other thing you have to think about, I think is the value.
If you’re delivering a lot more value than this guy, then you can charge more. You know, we don’t, well, my opinion is we don’t always want to be the, uh, always want to win on price. You know, we want to win on value because if you’re, if people are only buying for you, price only, they’ll always be somebody come along cheaper than you and you’ll lose out. So add that value
Speaker 4 (41:43):
And look, I mean, luxury brands are called luxury brands for a reason they know quality. Right. So think about, you’re talking about positioning. Think about the positioning of your product. If it’s more than likely, it’s probably a not, not a low end product. Right. Be anywhere between higher or even medium.
So definitely consideration. Yeah. Feel fine. There’s a, if there’s demand there, you’ll be able to find it. And if it’s a quality product, people will actually look down on it and not want to buy it. If you are priced off the phones. Cause if I have to go for them, you know, a lower quality. Yeah. Right. That’s why understanding analytics, things like that today. I mean, it’s much more than just knowing where your brand is. There’s a lot more to it now. Right.
And you have to be willing to take those certificates, take those programs to teach yourself, especially if you’re your own entrepreneur by yourself. And you’re basically investing in yourself and your brand and your business. Right, right, right. There’s all the technology that, that yep. And modifying things on the side. When we talk about that in our workshops or breakouts, uh, and make sure that people understand it and how it works and operates.
And I think that’s the important part that we’re not famous, like Dina said, but we have been a successful business for over 31 years. Now that’s a well-known brand and we’re ambassadors of Goodwill and we even have a monument. It would have thought. Exactly.
Speaker 4 (43:12):
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (43:13):
Well, I want to thank you all so much for taking time out of your day to be with us. And, uh, if you don’t mind, just a question for each one of you is, uh, so what is a tool, a habit or ritual? What is something that you do either in your personal life or your business life every day that you just couldn’t do without
Speaker 4 (43:34):
[inaudible] Perth? And that makes me feel good. So for me, it’s scheduling and making sure I know what’s going on today a week out and even a month for me, it’s really helped me. So that’s all the time and I’m still teaching so important for me to make it at my head that I’m uncomfortable. That’s really helpful a lot. Yeah. That’s very true.
I mean, the first thing we do is get up and have coffee together. We basically have a meeting about our doing things to the day, the month week. Um, even if it is that we’re going to do this day, how many meetings do we have because everybody’s zooming right now. Right. Right. So, uh, and speaking terms there that that’s the most important thing, having consistently advice in whatever.
And I think on the pick up failed every day, every day, he’s on the phone, even when he’s making those phone calls though. Yeah. He tap into your CRN. I watched him every day. Yeah. It’s a good habit. And, and uh, as you know, being an entrepreneur, the phone’s not ringing, there’s something wrong. Exactly. It’s got a ring. Yup. Yup.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (44:53):
Well, again, uh, thank y’all. If you don’t mind tell everybody if they want to pick up a copy of the book, what is the best way to do that? Or if they want to reach out and talk to y’all, how’s the best way to contact y’all
Speaker 4 (45:06):
You can find the book 31 cents hardcore for freaking profit, and you can find that on Amazon it’s um, get the paper back. Audible just came out. We have a fantastic WhatsApp. Um, you can also go to our website [inaudible] dot com or the fan. It has the band dock and door for instance, insurance did. And, uh, we’ve not been currently. Yeah. You can call me at six two, three three three Oh Oh two six, Devon. Look forward to hearing and answer your questions. Or are you going to come speak at your, uh, your zoom meeting or else you’ve got coming up? Yeah. All right.
Roy – The Business of Business Podcast (45:55):
Yeah. Thank you all very much. Well, this is going to do it for this episode of the business of business podcast. You can find us at www dot the business of business podcast. We’re on iTunes, Stitcher, Google play, and Spotify. Be sure and share, uh, uh, Don. And Dina’s incredible story with your friends. Everybody needs to hear this and, um, go pout and pick up 31 cents to 43 countries until next time. Thank you very much.