A big hello from Raleigh, North Carolina. Yes. I moved to Raleigh from Portland a couple of weeks ago. So now I’m doing my recording in Raleigh. So if you are ever in Raleigh, reach out to me. Let’s have a cup of coffee.
My guest is Jharry Guevara, a Business Development Manager, Marketing Director at VOIPRIng Network and Zoho Business Software Platform Architect.
Today, we are going to talk about what does it take to make a successful career transition.
In this episode:
- What is the right way to make a career transition?
- How to break into an industry with a high barrier of entry?
- What are actionable tips people can follow when deciding on a career change?
- What are the most important things to consider when changing careers?
- How can you diversify the skillset you have within your field of choice?
- How should you introduce yourself when seeking new employment after changing careers?
- What are the challenging aspects of making a career transition?
- What is the hardest thing about switching careers?
- How can people make better decisions about their careers?
Quotes from the episode:
“The more I kept those 10,000 hours in mind, the more hours I put in, the more I started growing as a person. So, that was a very complicated transition. But after I made up my mind, I started looking for side jobs and side gigs.”
“One analogy I like to look at is almost like playing an instrument. You learn how to play the instrument by copying somebody else’s notes. But after a while, you understand what a good note is and what is a bad note. And you’ll be so good that you could be able to mix the notes based on your flavor. So that’s the same thing with this whole journey.”
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To expand your knowledge about career transition, check out some of my previous podcast episodes, blog post, and videos.
Is a Career in Marketing Right for Me?
Making Career Transition to An Independent Consultant
Essential Marketing Skills Checklist to Build Successful Career
A big hello from Raleigh, North Carolina. Yes. I moved to Raleigh from Portland a couple of weeks ago. So now I’m doing my recording in Raleigh. So if you are ever in Raleigh, reach out to me. Let’s have a cup of coffee.
Today, I have a special guest for my podcast and my B2B Marketing & More video. And this is a channel about B2B marketing and everything that you can imagine we’ll talk about it. Today’s guest is very special because he’s made that transition from a completely different field to the marketing side. So I’m talking to Jharry Guevara.
Pam Didner: So good to have you. And you helped me with a couple of things, especially on the marketing automation tool. And I use Zoho. I’m not affiliated with the Zoho platform at all; they’re not paying me to say this. But I’m using the tool for marketing automation and some other office, uh, management activities, as well. And Jharry has been helping me on the CRM side of it. So you are a certified Zoho partner, but can you talk to all of us about what you did before you became a certified partner?
Jharry Guevara: Thank you very much, Pam, for having me here. Um, and before I was a Zoho partner, I had an automotive shop. It’s a completely different industry. It was more manual. And my business was just dealing with cars and motorcycles. So nothing has to do with a digital business.
Pam Didner: So you owned a car shop in Houston.
Jharry Guevara: Correct.
Pam Didner: For a long period of time. And your passion, till now, is about cars and motorcycles. Is it?
Jharry Guevara: yes, my passion is painting. Part of my business was to custom paint cars, but I didn’t go into business for my passion. It was mainly because I had to go ahead and do something, so I never really followed my passion. I just followed what the market wanted me to be doing, so yes.
Pam Didner: Why did you decide to do digital marketing, marketing automation, or CRM? Because that’s a completely different field?
Jharry Guevara: So, um, it was to the point that I could not scale. To go ahead and scale for me to be able to provide the, um, the life that I wanted for my family, I had to overextend myself and overwork myself. So I positioned myself to be able to sell. And once I was able to go ahead and sell, then my opportunity was like, “where should I be able to go? What’s my next step?” And I knew that the CRM will and the business automation process were valuable, but I’m not going to say that I just woke up. I knew that was my passion – to go ahead and proceed, becoming a CRM automation consultant.
And whenever I found out about CRM, I realized that that’s something that every business needs to be able to go ahead and use and take advantage of, but I was not in a position to help anybody out. So that’s whenever I decided to go ahead and just focus on becoming the person that I wish I would have had whenever I had my business.
Pam Didner: You know, there’s one thing that you brought up a very interesting point. I don’t want to paraphrase it. I’ve been working with you for a year now. And, uh, there are a couple of things that, you know, made an impression on me. Number one is you always try to improve, and you and I are always talking about what books to read, especially the marketing books. And you introduced me to several books. And there are a couple of books that you were talking to me about. Can you also share with our audience what they are?
Jharry Guevara: Yes. So one of the books that drove me as motivation was Be So Good That They Can’t Ignore You. That book talks about the hours and time you have to spend to become so good in a topic that people gravitate towards you because you’re good at that one thing. Um, and it takes so much time and effort to grow to that stance or to that position. And it’s not something that you just, all of a sudden, grow with it or, or, or was born with it. You have to work on that skill.
So through this whole transition, I focused on that, and I realized that I have to continue improving myself until people start realizing that I was good enough for them to find me or search for me. And I knew that the business that would follow me in this new journey would just start putting itself together. But I just had to focus on myself instead of looking for opportunities.
Pam Didner: So you talk about that book. And there’s a similar book called Outliers and is by Malcolm Gladwell is talking about a 10,000-hour rule, which is if you want to be so good at something, you have to invest 10,000 hours of your time. And that’s probably about two and a half to three years. Right. Honing that skill. So talk to us in terms of when you made that transition. After you sold the car shop, you decided to go into marketing automation and CRM. How do you go about, like, determining which platform you want to be certified and, uh, what is your learning path to make that happen?
Jharry Guevara: Yes, the 10,000 rule, I do believe in that. I think that people misunderstand that concept because they view the 10,000 rule as a specific topic. And I view it as “I have to design who I want to be, and I have those 10,000 hours to be able to become that person.”
Pam Didner: To make that happen.
Jharry Guevara: Yes, to make that happen. And I have to go ahead and, um, continuously work on that process and make sure that I get to that goal and, and I cannot quit unless I have those 10,000 hours. So that allows me to be able to open up my mind and understand, “well, this is not going to happen tomorrow. This is not going to happen next week. It’s not going to happen in six months. It’s going to happen until I put those 10,000 hours.”
And there were many times that I would not go anywhere. I will not enjoy my family or go out at the weekends because I knew I had to—
Pam Didner: You had to put in the hours.
Jharry Guevara: Yeah, those 10,000 hours, there’s no other way around it. There’s no shortcut.
Pam Didner: There is no shortcut! That’s the one thing I want to tell all the digital marketers. Many of them come to me and say, “you know, what, can you tell us how we can do this fast?” Digital marketing, you cannot do a fast, there are so many intricacies, and you and I worked on just nurturing campaigns, right? So like for example, that people subscribe to my newsletter, and we have three emails that we want to send out. How much time do you and I just talk about the process in addition to copy? Right. What is the process? What will that workflow look like? Who should receive it, right? Going back and forth, that by itself is kind of like two or three months. Would you agree?
Jharry Guevara: Yeah, most definitely.
Pam Didner: It cannot happen that fast, especially on digital marketing. It just takes time to do it. There’s stuff that you just have to buckle down, and you have to learn. How long did that take for you to get certified with Zoho?
Jharry Guevara: The certification process was a small little hurdle on a long journey. Because before even beginning this journey, I pointed out all the weaknesses that I currently had at that time. Some of them were even me being in front of a camera, speaking to you. Like I wasn’t able to do that. So I worked on that; I worked on my weaknesses. I worked on my communication skills. Even though my current communication skill is not where I want them to be, it’s a lot better than where I started.
So I made a list of everything that I needed to go ahead and improve and a list of things that I needed a very good knowledge of. And I just set that list, and that list was like 25 items long. Each item would probably take me like two-three weeks to be able to mark off. And it was just in some items we’ll create more items to create a small list became very, very long.
So that whole process was probably, I want to say I started seeing results probably a year and a half into it, but did not really, um, see yet see anything major to like probably two and a half years into this whole process. Yeah. So it was a very long process.
Pam Didner: Can you also talk to us in terms of during that time, after you sold your shop and doing that two years, did you work full time or do you just work on this full-time and how do you manage your finance?
Jharry Guevara: So that was a very interesting time because I valued time more than finance. So there was a lot of things that we had to downgrade. I told my wife that before that process even began, I told her that was going to be rough, and we had to kind of downgrade and kind of really hunker down and act like if I was going to school, because, in reality, there’s not a school that teaches what I learned. So it was very difficult, but at the same time, I told her that we have to go through this whole process with the mentality as if I’m going to college and full time. Because the more I kept those 10,000 hours in mind, the more hours I put in, the more I started growing as a person.
So that was a very complicated, um, kind of transition. But after that, once I made up my mind, I started looking for side jobs and side gigs. I did Uber, um, the person I sold the business to, they had contacts, and they went ahead and helped me out with little side opportunities that I could go ahead and help me meet some ins. And at the same time, I still had the time that I needed to go ahead and, um, work on my craft.
Pam Didner: And I think that’s a fantastic insight and advice for many people who want to make that transition. I often communicate with the people I coach that if they want to make a career transition, their finance is the number one thing they have to look at. And making sure that they have money set aside for you to support it, or they have a plan for what they’re going to do to find additional funding when they are making that transition, which will alleviate stress. So I love that you share that insight with us.
So you manage the finance and go all the way in and tried to put that 10,000 hours, and you learned. And so once you got yourself certified and you’re out there, you are not known by many, many people, and you are brand new for this specific field. How did you get about going to, uh, like getting leads and also customers?
Jharry Guevara: Yes. Um, that was an interesting transition as well, too, because people are not just going to come to me. So I needed to go ahead and work on improving my marketing, understand what marketing and some of that knowledge came from me having my previous business. And there were many different things that I tried to do and try to attract clients. And nothing was working. Part of the problem was in me. Things that work for somebody else might not work for me, but I focus so much time and try to make that work. And it is just a waste of time because I’ll never go on to make that work.
Pam Didner: So I also tell my clients that go ahead and read about the best practices, but you have to think through what you have, what you are doing. Don’t try to emulate, but take whatever nugget that my work and try it. Often, when you try it, you’re going to see that it’s not working for you, and then you have to try something else. I think that’s the biggest takeaway in terms of digital marketing. You never know what’s going to work, and you have to try it, determine that, and then retry it. Even something is working like six months down the road; it may not work.
Jharry Guevara: One analogy I like to look at is almost like playing an instrument. You learn how to play the instrument by copying somebody else’s notes. But after a while, you understand what a good note is and what is a bad note. And you’ll be so good that you could be able to mix the notes based on your flavor. So that’s the same thing with this whole journey that you read the blog post, and you read those articles as a way to be able to absorb those notes, but essentially you create your rhythm whenever you understand those notes. Because you put this 10,000 hours behind it, you.
Based on your business, style, or practice, we know enough to understand what is a good and bad note and what will work and what won’t work.
Pam Didner: So let’s go back to the question I asked. We talk about how to get the prospects, how to get business. You say that initially, you try a lot of stuff. You even do paid media, integrated marketing, have the website up, do a lot of stuff, and do SEO, but none of them worked very, very well. And in the end, you were able to get customers. What did you do, and how do you make that, um, the optimization? What was the specific channel that you used?
Jharry Guevara: Sure. So at first, because I was going outbound marketing and I was trying to pretty much dress myself up to attract clients, that didn’t work. Then I focused and realized I have to look for clients ready to go ahead and look] for me, somebody that does what I do. So at first, I started using Fiverr, a freelancer agency. I didn’t even think that people that were looking for my services were going to be in Fiverr, but that opened up a door to be able to have me ask myself more questions and try to figure out, “okay, if this is not it, then where else is there?” And Upwork was a perfect place for me to go ahead and start. And that was the best decision that I ended up making, just working on Upwork to start getting my clients from the beginning.
Pam Didner: You go where the channel that, you know, people are looking for the marketing help. Even with that, the conversion rate initially was not very high. How did you overcome that? I talked to many people who are actually on the Upwork. Some of them were very successful that able to get jobs all the time, some of them are not. So how do you make that transition?
Jharry Guevara: Essentially, it started from the beginning that I had to kind of prove myself in that platform that I was actually worth what I was asking for. And I build myself up, and there’s a lot of people that, that will want to go into a platform such as Upwork and want to go ahead and from the start, want to go ahead and get started getting paid the money that they—
Pam Didner: The highest rate.
Jharry Guevara: –envisioned. And that was one of my mistakes, but then I switched it around and started from the beginning. I was happy that I was getting paid as much as a minimum wage person, but just to prove my worth, you know, and experience. And, and that was a very good way to build me and improve the skills that I had.
Pam Didner: So you brought a very good point in terms of when you started using Upwork, and a lot of consultants, especially freelancers, encounter a couple of things. Number one is they don’t know how they’re going to charge. So you tested right. You test it probably pretty high initially, and then you kind of move it down, and it’s trying to find that sweet spot.
So anybody who is listening to this podcast or the video, please subscribe, please comment. And I will respond to your questions as much as I can, but in the meantime, if you are on your own and want to do a freelancer type of job, and you want to determine what you want to charge, you can talk to me. I can tell you what people usually charge because I use different freelancers for different jobs. But the bottom line is you need to be comfortable in terms of what you think you should get at the same time. You have to test your pricing. There’s not much to it. You’ll have to test it.
And another thing is I know that you are continuously improving. So what are the new skills that you want to learn in 2022?
Jharry Guevara: The new skill that I want to learn is to understand more API communication in the backend. Um, that’s something I’m knowledgeable in, but it’s not something I consider myself an expert on just yet. And that’s something that I would like to go ahead and do, so I could start building out an app or help businesses that have an app to help them configure that information.
I know that might sound very exciting, but from my point of view, that is very exciting to be able to try to learn.
Pam Didner: No, it does not sound exciting at all. That’s just some boring. (both laugh) I’m kidding. That’s very, very important. You brought up that I want to share with everybody to be a good digital marketer nowadays. You also have to be a very good project manager. It will also need to understand your processes.
Digital marketing is built on the solid foundation of backend integration. If your integration is not done, you cannot move the data from one platform to another, and you don’t have an API to integrate your data from one platform to another. You cannot track the performance of your marketing, period.
So Jharry, even though I say it’s boring, it’s fundamentally, utterly essential to understand and to have somebody like you working on the back end integration with all the marketers. And by the way, that skill is also indispensable. So that skill will keep your skillset and be in the job market for a long time. Excellent. Excellent. So, you know, what is your advice for people who like to make that full-on career transition? What, what are some of the mistakes you made you want to share with everybody so they can avoid it?
Jharry Guevara: Most definitely. So I have, uh, this is not my first time transitioning into a different career, believe it or not. Um, before me having my car shop, I was a deep-sea diver in the Gulf of Mexico and—
Pam Didner: What?!? And you did not tell me?
Jharry Guevara: Yes. So that was, um, I learned a lot of valuable lessons of life in life through that whole career change. And that’s what helped me fund the business that I had–the automotive shop. There was a lesson that I learned whenever I was diving. I was diving, and this was the deepest dive that I had to do.
Pam Didner: How deep?
Jharry Guevara: 165 feet. And what happens in the air is that you start areas almost like gas at that certain depth, so then you start hallucinating stuff. Um, and going to that depth. I knew that all the risks and dangers were waiting for me at that depth, and it was my first time being to that depth. Because I was a deep-sea diver, I had the whole setup, and I was able to talk to the supervisor up, and he was able to see my camera and everything. And they were telling me how the depths that I’m going down. So I started at 10, 20, 30, you know, and then it started skipping 60 and then 70 and then—
Pam Didner: My heart is already pounding. Okay, okay, I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. Go ahead, keep talking.
Jharry Guevara: So I remember them saying 90 and 90 were like, almost like a block of bricks that was landed on me, and I stopped, and they were like, “are you okay?” But they didn’t realize that I was going crazy. I was freaking out. So then I calmed myself down, and I realized, “you know, what? I’ve been through this; I’ve practiced through this; I studied through this. I’ve been diving”– at that time, I was diving for five years, and I had all this knowledge accumulated through that time. So I knew what I had to do. So there was a clear path that I knew that I had to stick to what I knew.
Pam Didner: Your knowledge, what you know.
Jharry Guevara: Yes. So what I would like to share with everyone is to create a game plan whenever you go through this process. At one point, you’re going to fall into that 90-feet that you’re so deep, but therefore you’re halfway there. And you have to realize, “you know what? I’m deep inside. I have this game path. All I have to do is just focus and stay on this path, and I know everything will turn out okay.” You know, the best feeling was whenever I reached my goal. So that’s the, I guess, advice I’ll have for everyone. Create a path. Yeah. Create a path and stick to it. No matter what, just stick to it.
Pam Didner: Yeah. So I love your advice. The bottom line is that you will hit that mental block or the physical block every step of the way. And you have to think through in terms of, okay, what can I do to overcome that? The biggest hurdle is probably somewhere in the middle. You’re about to get there, but you are not there yet. Then you have to think through the terms of what’s your game plan? And also what can you do?
And also, I guess when you say to calm yourself down, it’s sometimes there’s also a self-reflection, right. You say, “okay, I’ve been going this far, and this is what I have accomplished, what I have learned.” Right. Let’s think about it for this specific hurdle. What can we do, or what can I do to overcome it? And sometimes you are all right, is that self-motivation? Is it that self-talking you talk to yourself? “You can do this; you can do this. You can do manifestation,” I guess so.
So, um, one more question. Um, I understand that you have three girls and you are very busy. If there is one place that you want to go to and you have never been, what that place is?
Jharry Guevara: There’s this island and, um, Panama, not in, in United States, Panama the country Panama. The only way to get there is pretty much on a makeshift boat, but it’s a resort. It’s the closest thing that you could get to being away from a way that’s where I would like to go
Pam Didner: So what’s the name of the island?
Jharry Guevara: That’s one thing I don’t know, but I know it’s in Panama. (both laugh)
Pam Didner: “I don’t know the city. I don’t know, but. Well, I wanted to go. I want to get away.” Okay. Got it. Wonderful. Wonderful. Jharry, it’s wonderful to share your journey and your experience and how you make that transition. I think that’s fantastic. We are always thinking, “okay, what are we going to do next?” And he has a lot of self-reflection, and I know in the current era, which is the era of the “Great Resignation.
A lot of people out of this pandemic thinking like, you know what, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to do my current job, and I want to do something completely different.” And we can work remotely, and we prove we can do that. And many people are making that transition. Right. Right. They tried to try it, and you are trying to find something different. They quit their formal job. And, but I love a lot of lessons that you share with us today.
If you are listening and some of the lessons apply to you, let us know. Please, subscribe to the podcast and watch this video.
Again, comment. Love, love to hear from you.
So Jharry, thank you so much for coming to my show.
Jharry Guevara: Thank you for having me, Pam.
Pam Didner: All right. Take care.