Another episode of the Solopreneur Grind Podcast is live!
In this episode of the Solopreneur Grind Podcast, I talk to Di-Di Hoffman about:
- How he got into entrepreneurship by taking up plants as a child
- Learning about business thanks to a good opportunity with a mentor and not wanting to work for someone else
- Tips on marketing yourself genuinely and growing your business through friendship
And much more.
You can listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform here, or watch the video/read the transcript below!
Di-Di’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/didihoffman/
[00:00:00] Josh: Hey everybody. This is Josh for the Solopreneur Grind podcast, episode 122. I’m here with Di-Di Hoffman. Di-di, thank you very much for coming on the show today,
[00:00:13] Di-Di: Josh, thank you for the opportunity.
[00:00:17] Josh: Awesome. Di-di, can we start by hearing a little bit more just about you, who you are and what you’re working on these days?
Yes, Josh. I’m a commercial potter herb. And also a, a past keto in South Africa, we call it banting. I was a banting coach as well, but yeah, I’m a potter herb, grow an herbalist from sunny South Africa who slowly transmuted into an online rainmaking nerd. So . Yeah, it’s been quite a journey. And that’s, that’s the short of it.
Two passions. One is helping our indigenous traditional healers to incorporate modern medicinal herbalism into their treatment protocols. And that’s all on done online. I’ve been doing that since 2004, if you can believe that. And then, yeah, my other passion is working with wellness professionals who are fed up with being a needle in a giant online ice deck.
[00:01:07] Josh: Very cool. There, there are two very interesting topics and I’m interesting to hear how they collide. So let, let’s go back in time, Deedee closer to 2004, is that when your entrepreneurial journey kind of began? Was it before then? Where would you say the the starting point was?
[00:01:24] Di-Di: According to my parents, or let me put it this way, my entrepreneurial journey basically started in kindergarten.
I was very fortunate, grew up on a farm. In a, in a, in a, in a rural area, in a farming community. And yeah, we, we didn’t have a lot of friends like in, in, in town close by, so you had to keep yourself busy. My parents believed in everybody doing something. So you basically have two choices on the farm.
You can either go into animal Ry or , or you can go into, into the plant section. The, the animal hospital thing was too, too involved for me. I didn’t like that, but I definitely took a liking to plants. So I started at the very early age taking responsibility for the food garden. We had a huge food garden because we were self-sufficient.
And yo very fortunate that my parents and my grandparents groomed me into that. Not just providing food because it was a barter system in those days. The, the farmers bartered with each other for services and products. So I care to barter for things like compost and, you know, chicken manure.
And later on I decided, you know, to, to take the chickens on as well because I got the from that. But yeah, that’s where, that’s where it all started. Hmm.
[00:02:41] Josh: Very cool. And so at at a very, very young age, they sent you out to go barter on your own. .
[00:02:49] Di-Di: No, fortunately not. I was also grooming that also groomed because I would probably just have given everything away.
[00:02:58] Josh: But, but even just, even just being a, a fly on the wall for those interactions Right. Is probably great lessons in sales and negotiating and stuff like that.
[00:03:07] Di-Di: Yeah. Especially at, at, at the young age that sort of evolved later on because. I took a liking to, to growing pot plants as well, indoor pot plants, and quickly discovered my mom had friends that had pot plants that needed to be, to be transplanted, repoed.
And I offered my service for that in return for when I transplanted a lot of things like and ferns. You, you divide. So I would transplant and. little transplant plants that came from there. My bottle deal was I get to keep those and then I would replant them and then I would sell. And that sort of was the next, next phase using what I had there to, to start and selling it for an income.
Because, you know, even at, at a young age especially a boy, you have expenses. You know, you had to buy those days. Matchbox cars you know, little, you know, things say, oh, , you had, you had living expenses as well together. .
[00:04:01] Josh: Absolutely. And I mean, it’s nice to just have some extra money for whatever, whatever there may be.
Right. It must have been good money feeling. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So at, at what point did it kind of become an official business, would you say? Like, did, did you, did you go to high school and or secondary school or post-secondary school? Or how, how did, how did the kind of career phase.
[00:04:25] Di-Di: Yes, I finished both of those.
And when I finished high school in South Africa at that stage, we had compulsory military service. Two years. Mm-hmm. . We had to go, we had to go to, to the Army for two years, whether you like it or not. , I was very lucky I was drafted into the medical core. Another thing that you had Deni, I have to say, in they drafted you wherever they, they, they added a need.
So I was drafted into the medical core. Was very fortunate that after boot camp we did three man’s boot camp. I was given the opportunity to do a, a nine months officers training commissioned officers training. And yes, in, in nine months, basically the, the South African defense Force taught me how to manage groups because that’s what we, that’s what we learned.
And then in the, in the last year, my, my final year of my military service, I was, again, very fortunate. I got a position as the registrar of our number one military hospital, which is at that stage, was the biggest military hospital in the Southern hemisphere. Huge opportunity. Learned a lot. But my mind was sort of on becoming an engineer.
So when, when you finish your two years military service, compulsory, they gave you a contract especially us that were offices. You, you got, they gave you a c yet short term contract, which was quite, quite good. But I, my had I, I decided I wanted to be an engineer, so I got a burs. and I went to university.
And enrolled in methodological engineering of all things . Yeah. So just silly. But anyway, at about halfway year mark, I decided, and I just, one day I, I walked into a, a laboratory in, in the university and I just realized, did this is not you. I can’t stand this environment. It’s not the learning. I love the.
I love the skills they were teaching us, but just that, that lab environment, it just, it was so depressing. So I wanted to, I wanted to kick up and quit. My dad said, no, I’m in. No circumstances are, you’re going to quit. You are going to commit. You’ve committed to a year, you’re going to finish this year.
So I’ve finished my first year engineering and then just went into, and in that last six months, We again, I started, I always had my little nursery and we started collecting before that, even collecting culinary herbs. . And in that last six months, because I was so bored I started potting up culinary herbs going around to retail nurseries in, in, in Victoria and trying to sell them and very fortunate bumped into a person at a nursery.
Who took me under his wing . The first thing he said to me when I walked in with my applause, he says, there’s no way anybody is going to buy this shit. And that was his word, . So you have to replant as a repo. This, and again, very, very fortunate, got a mentor there, taught me the ropes. And then at the end of the year of, of.
University. I started Buon in nursery, which was the first pot growing operation in South Africa. We built that operation out over three, three decades. Eventually sold it about five years ago. But yeah, that was, that was the love of my life and totally building something from scratch that required a lot of capital.
Because our also up growing operation does require a lot of capital, but bootstrapping it, and that was the biggest challenge to bootstrap it. So we grew slowly at the start, probably for the first 15 years, very slowly because we were bootstrapping, expanding, expanding with the last 15 years was just, just a ball.
But it’s intense work. And during that phase, the, the, the online stuff, . Mm-hmm. .
[00:08:07] Josh: Very interesting. I I want to get into a lot of that. Can we pause for one second, Deedee and, and just have you explain, I’ve had many people on the show, right? Most people are selling a product or service I’ve kind of heard of or used before.
Can you give us like the ABCs of herb plotting and, and, and or plotting and. How does it work? What’s the business model? What, what, what are the, what are the kind of key processes that we need to understand for those of us who may not have done it before or never been to one before?
[00:08:42] Di-Di: Look, if you wanted to do.
Like we did commercially, large scale potted herbs. So it’s little pots in, in, in, you call it inches. Four four inch pot. We call them a 10 centimeter pot. The the biggest thing there, and the biggest lesson that we had to learn is that you have to absolutely systematize everything. Your production schedules everything needs to run like clockwork and.
To add to that, just to give you a little bit of background, in, in, in South Africa, a a pot herb growing operation was classified as forming, which had its ups and, and pros and cons. But one of the, the cons of it is that we, our, our labor pool that we could use was mostly unskilled, unskilled labor. Mm-hmm.
So it was literally people that couldn’t read and. So that was one of our challenges and one of the things I realized very quickly on is that we, we need to train these people, but just for, mm-hmm. , for somebody that wants to, to, to do something like that, you need to love nature because nature, you are working with nature and nature is gonna, is gonna play different tricks on you at times that you don’t want them.
So you need to love nature, you need to be willing to work with nature and sometimes against. , but the most important thing is you need to be a left brainer. Mm-hmm. , you can’t be just right, right. Thumbs, you know, greeny or airy fairy. You need to be a left brainer because you need to build those systems.
And it’s a question of, we focused on having herbs available. throughout the whole growing season. So it’s not just one big crop of basil, for instance. You have to have a little batch of basil available enough for all your clients every week. So it becomes a, it’s just a logistical nightmare. But yeah, fortunately we have spreadsheets in a way.
I started, we didn’t have seizures, but all done. , right.
[00:10:41] Josh: Looks, I can only imagine. I, I’m sure the, I’m sure the evolution was very cool too. And, and, and we’ll talk about that. So is it, as if I can boil it down, Deen, obviously it’s much more complicated than this, but growing and selling, right. Just like you said though, having the right selection, but starting small, eventually growing more of each type of herb and then selling it to commercial buyers.
I’m assuming maybe restaurants or, you know, other types of food related business.
[00:11:11] Di-Di: Again, the, the, that’s a, that’s a viable market. We, we tried it. It didn’t work for us. What we focused on was garden centers. Other words. Okay. Know garden centers because they buy in bulk and also the landscaping industry.
We, and, and, and perhaps that’s just something that I can mention and that I think was the secret to our success, is that I focus solely on building relationships with garden centers. Even if they weren’t my clients. I built relationships with them. So the day they, most of them when we started. We were the only people selling it.
So, you know, I had sort of card blinds. I could choose, pick and choose, but like in any market we were about five years in, then the competitors started coming in. And not from people that were specialists, they growers, we were specialists, owners, but from other growers that, so, oh, well Diddy is making money, so, you know, let’s also try growing herbs.
So yeah, that’s, that’s the main thing. Pick your market. Go bulk if you can. It just makes everything easier than selling one, one to a consumer and then pre be prepared to go and build those, those buyer relationships.
[00:12:19] Josh: Right. Can you tell us a little bit about how those first five years went? I mean, you’re, you’re starting this.
Brand new business kind of first time. I mean, you’ve done business before as you, as you explained, you had some entrepreneurial experiences, but what was it like? What were the, what were the ups and downs like of those first couple of years? And the other thing I’m interested in is what was the decision making process?
To pull the trigger and actually start the business. Did that mentor kind of help you get started? Did you just decide, hey, this is something I need to do. I don’t want to be an employee? What, what was that mindset like?
[00:12:57] Di-Di: Yeah, I think mindset wise, and that’s, that’s really a, a, a brilliant way of looking at it is mindset from the start, it was I didn’t want to work for somebody else.
You know, after my two years in the army, that sort of, you know, we were entrepreneurial. Before that I was entrepreneurial my whole life. I knew that I had the skills and to, to sell plants. She’s now to package plants and cell plants. And I didn’t want to work for anybody. What’s really twisted and changed, it was that specific mentor.
He helped me and I can’t even remember. I think it was 75. I had 75 rosemary plants that I reported into what he suggested which was a little two inch spot at that stage, which was a. Decision at that stage. But anyway, it worked. But what pulled the trigger, Josh was going back to him with those 75 plants and he went to his tilth, asked me what I was, asked me, what are you selling them for?
And it was about, I can’t even remember that. I think it was one , which is about, in your terms, about 10 cents a plant. He looked at me and says, mm-hmm , I’ll give you double that. He went to Easter, he pulled out the money, and he gave me the money and he said, put the plants over there. And that, that was just it.
Mm-hmm. . And that thrill, the thrill of the third sale and a bulk cell. Then you. .
[00:14:19] Josh: It’s, it’s, it’s interesting, two, two things kind of that I take from that story that I can relate to most of our guests. Number one is that first sale, right? Like something switches in your brain and you’re like, yeah, oh wow.
This is possible, right? I can do it. And then secondly generating your own luck is, is kind of how I like to, to call it, which is, if you didn’t take the initiative to go try to sell some of those herbs earlier on, you would’ve never bumped. , the gentleman that then became your mentor, right? And, and kind of cycled all this virtu virtuous cycle to, to where you ended up, which is awesome.
So I just wanted to highlight that. So Deedee, let, let’s talk about then you’re growing the business and then as you alluded to earlier, , then the quote unquote online stuff started happening. Right. Explain that because I am 31, right? Most of my life. I’ve had a lot of the online stuff. Obviously it evolved a lot in the early two thousands.
Can you talk about it from a business standpoint? Like you started Paper and Pen and then at, do you remember the point in time where like you really started to adopt online stuff and, and then how have the last kind of 10 years evolved for you?
[00:15:28] Di-Di: Again, I love that question. When I, I was, again, fortunate, I am, I’m very much interested in technology, been my whole life.
I was one of the first early adopters of, of the, the cheaper, more affordable. Let’s call it a home computer. So Commodore 64 Sinclair, I mean, those names will probably don’t mean anything to you, but Commod 64, the, the, the didn’t even have a, a memory. Once you shut it off, you lost everything that you looked on, and it only adds 64 kilobytes of random access memory.
Now, just imagine , it’s just silly. Again love to play with that. Play around with it. Write my own little programs, and as I say, you, you write the program, it can do something, and then when you shut it down, it’s gone next time. But then they started with the, the, the floppy desk, et cetera, et cetera. But very fortunate there that I was never afraid of playing around with technology being the first to, to.
Start, you know, when websites came around. I think I registered my first website in 1996, my domain name, and then started with front page , which was yo, what, what, how do describe Front Page. Yeah. It was just a, a, a software that you could build your own website sort of. Drag and drop Boulder. Mm-hmm. very slow.
Those websites were terribly slow. But yeah. And then from that one day and, and I had a quite a good website running on front page. And then one day I got this email from Front Page, because they got this into this whole, you know, software as a service that I had to pay a yearly fee. And I said, gestation, no worries.
I’m going to do that. So what’s the next step? And then WordPress was, Quite, quite going a long energy. I shifted to WordPress. So yo always been in the technology. Always use technology. Very quick to shift over to Excel spreadsheets in, in the business. To use that because it’s just made everything so much easier because you could make templates especially production, Cheryls do all those calculations that we used to do by an took this just to and, and that actually gave me more time in the business, which led to the next step because I suddenly, once, once you’ve got the system built, you save a hell of a lot of time.
And then I started going around. Doing food gardening workshops which was very popular again I used the same principle that I used as the business I targeted. Garden clubs and our agricultural union in South Africa have have a, aside on the Women’s agricultural reunion now in South Africa, like most in the world, the gardeners are mostly.
it’s 80% women. So I targeted those made friends with the, with the people in charge of all those organizations, and o offered to go and give them food gardening workshops and herb talks. I gave hell of a lot of herb talks about cooking with us because that was our main speciality, cooking with herbs own.
And at, at that stage, Josh, nobody, nobody ask a fee for that. And, I was driving all over South Africa and one day I took my wife and left me and we drove back and I said, this has gotta stop. People need to start paying me for this. And she said, well, nobody is asking for payment. How are you going to do that?
And I said, well, we’ll figure it out. And then next time I got an invite, I just said, , very happy to come. You are going to have to cover my, my, my traveling cost, and you’re going to have to put me up in a, in a very nice accommodation. Me and my wife for two nights just sort of as a joke. And again, the person just said, done , just send us an invoice.
And then I started because that was a, that was a great excuse to travel all over South Africa. . Mm-hmm. so. . Then one day I also realized that, you know, perhaps you start, should start studying because I, I, I’m a bookworm. I read a lot and I read about, you know, speakers having sales at the backend. So I was figuring out, okay, Didi, how can you sell with your food gardening talks and workshops?
How can you sell something at a backend? It was quite easy. I put together a course it was done on Word. At that stage, you couldn’t convert a Word document to PDF as easily as today. You had to. Separate software you had to buy it? Correct. Bought that wasn’t a problem. And then we put it onto CDs in folders.
had a bought a little printer that could print CDs. And I started CDs at the back end. And then, you know, when once I started building the website, this, you know, realized it’s going to be very easy to distribute these in, in, in a file format on the cd. It was before we had learning management systems.
And at the same time then, and I think this is part of my success with, with where I’m today, is I started. Basically 20, 25 years ago, I started building an email. . Hmm. Cause I published a weekly newsletter called Timeless Herb Secrets. It’s still out there. And I sent out a new weekly newsletter giving people tips on cooking with herbs and tips on of their food gardens.
And that became the feeding of the Herb Academy. So, yo
[00:21:04] Josh: do you still have that list?
[00:21:07] Di-Di: Yeah, it’s quite, wow. It’s quite a lot bigger. Quite a lot bigger tw
[00:21:09] Josh: 25 year old email list. That might be a record. Deedee . Yeah.
[00:21:14] Di-Di: I, and, and that’s Incredibles people that there’s, there’s people that’s been on that list from, from day one.
That’s incredible. Still reading, still giving me comments still catch, catching me out because as you grow older, your, your way of cooking changes . So some of them point out to me, you know, . 20 years ago you said, I can do this and this with . Now you say, I can’t. I need to do this and this , and I just love that.
[00:21:41] Josh: They keep, they keep you honest. That, that’s great. Mm-hmm. Deedee a, a couple things come to mind. That’s a really interesting evolution. First of all, I was curious, so how has that evolved in the last, let’s say five, 10 years? Like, what, what, what is your current plan look like? And secondly, you mentioned making friends with a lot of people kind of in the industry or the market that you were looking to get into.
Can you expand on that? Because I mean, that’s part of what you do, right? You help people kind of grow their network you know, get in with the right people. Can you expand on what your approach maybe was or, or, or now is? Because I think that’s the right way to approach it. Right? So many entrepreneurs, especially earlier on think sales, sales, sales.
But maybe they’re not approaching it the right way, where they should be thinking. Build my network, add value, make friends, you know what I mean? So maybe if you could touch on, those are two big topics if you want to separate them. But how do, how to quote unquote, make friends and, and build your network.
And then what is, you know, how has the tech evolved in the last few years and what does it look like now?
[00:22:47] Di-Di: Let me answer the last question first, Jo, I, I, I think the tech is just that even I, that like Dick, even me, I can’t, I can’t keep up anymore. It’s, yeah, it’s just, it’s, it’s just it, it, it has reached a point for me.
That I actually, when something new comes out, I don’t even want to read it. I don’t want to say it cause it, it, it clicks something in my brain and I wanna try it and I just waste time with it. But yeah, I, I, I think we are very, very fortunate in where we are today. I think one of the, one of the big pluses of covid, you know, one.
The, the, the plus outcomes over Covid is that it has made everybody aware that we can do zooms. Before Covid, it was damn difficult to get somebody in a Zoom. They would go, what? What do you want me to do now? Now everybody knows that. So just if you look at that and, and the way communication has improved mean just look at your platform or that you are recording your, your podcast on.
I mean, this, this is just, this is just amazing and I’m, I’m very, very fortunate for all of us that we given h where this is available. , and I hope I answer that question. I just think tech is awesome. Mm-hmm. , I dunno where it’s going to end. I don’t like the things about ai. It makes my hair crawl
But, but yeah. Anyway, let’s talk about friendships and, and I think that’s one of the important lessons I learned at the early age, and I’ve absolutely made it the focus of everything I. business jobs, I don’t care which business you are in. Business is all about not relationships. It’s all about friendships.
And, and it’s a very important distinction. If, if for, for, for example, I have, I have people in my network that I hate. But they still in my network and I still have to have that relationship with them. Sometimes it’s a supplier, sometimes it’s a, it’s a client. Sometimes it’s a relat or relat or relat.
But there are people that we don’t want to be, you know, in our inner circles. And for me, the first principle and the one that we, that I teach all my students, is the first thing you need to do when you start your business. Forget about nicheing, forget about target market. Forget about all those. Go and sit down, make a list.
I call it a friendship filter. Make a friendship filter. What are the qualities of the people you want to do business with? And it needs to be the same values and qualities as you would choose your French, because remember Josh, you are going to spend most of your time with your clients and your suppliers.
So it’s very important that these are people that energize. people that make you stand up in the morning and say, yay, just look at my, she, you know, I’m going to see this one, this one, this one, this one. Mm-hmm. . I got to do this for that one today. So that’s very important. Put in that French of filter and then filter people according to that.
You are not supposed to, you’re not meant to do business with everybody. You are not supposed to meant to buy from everybody. So put that filter into place, right? Second step is you actually have to go out deliberately and build your own network. So that means getting out of your comfort zone.
Reaching out to total strangers and say, Hmm. And, and that’s another nice thing about today and all the technology, you can actually go and check somebody out. I couldn’t do that 20 years ago. I had to ask. Oh, Josh. Josh, you know, I, I know you’re friends with Peter. Tell me a little bit about Peter.
So that I can figure out, out, you know, is, is Peter somebody that I, today I can actually go onto LinkedIn or wherever and I can check you out and say, ah, you, you, you post a folder. Then start that relationship, but start it first, and primarily to build the friendship and don’t be attached to the outcome.
Right. I’ve, I’ve. Wonderful friends via LinkedIn that I’ve never, ever in my life will do business with. We just not, we, we, we not, we want , but I’m still friends with them because I went first with bullying, the friendship. It’s nice to have them in my circle, some of them every now and then, send me a, send me a student.
So then again, I can say, thank you for that. But start off by providing, And you will see, you know, especially I’m in my sixties relationships are very important the older you get. But I’ve got such a vast network of French that yeah, I can probably change business and start in another new business.
And, and again, I will be up and running in three, in three or three or four months.
[00:27:36] Josh: Right? It’s, it’s great advice, Deedee. So what would you say in the, in the case that, let’s say you come across from however, your network or whatever, you meet someone who looks like a perfect target for your business as maybe a potential client or a potential partner, but they don’t meet the requirements of that friendship checklist.
You, you, maybe you even have that first call or first meeting and. Don’t think they’re a good fit for you, but from a business perspective they look like a perfect match. What would you recommend there? Do you just let it go or, or what’s your recommendation?
[00:28:17] Di-Di: Very, very important question. question with a, with a, with a, they don’t have an easier answer. And, and let me put it this way. When you, when you’re starting. and you need to put food on the table, you are going to have to bite your teeth. Because if you, if you need to, to pay the bills at the, at the end of the month, you might probably take on that line.
But if you’re in a position that, mm-hmm , you don’t really, or let me put it this way, where that person, where you will know for a fact that person is not going to be worth the trouble two months or a month from now, I will just. spend a little bit less that month or whatever, but I won’t take them on. Especially in, in, in my line of work where we work very closely with our clients.
Again, if you’re just providing a, a product and there’s not that much interaction, again, you, you, you might re-look that one specific filter because it’s usually one, one a filter list, usually have seven to. Things, it’s usually just one or two. But if it’s three or four, that’s a, that’s a no. I would rather, I would rather pause that.
If I can, I would send them along to my, my, my worst competitor and let them battle with them to my competitor in favor. We, we, we used to do that especially in, in a, in a green industry. But your no, I would rather, I would rather.
[00:29:52] Josh: That’s a, that’s a great answer and, and puts it into good perspective. Deedee, I, I just wanna spend the last few minutes talking about how you’ve now evolved into becoming a teacher. What, what do you help people with and what are some key struggles maybe that you’re, that your students deal with and, and how you help them?
[00:30:14] Di-Di: Oh, thank you, Joseph. That’s a great question. I think one of the important lessons that I have learned through the years is that a lot of people tell you to follow your passion especially in business. And I think that’s a wrong advice. I was following my passions and I, I dabbled, I, I I’ve started seven businesses in my life and.
only two of them was really worth the time and effort. The others were passions. But those two that, that I’m still doing are the two where I’m doing my talent and my talent is teaching. And I think that’s one of the important lessons you have to figure out what your talent sees and try and both if you want to be a good entrepreneur and a solo lifestyle entre.
Because for a solo lifestyle entrepreneur, our time is very valuable because we are doing this because the business buys us time to do other things. So mm-hmm. , that time that I spend on my business is absolutely cool to work on your talents and to use your talents to, to help other people. Now, apart from teaching I, because I’ve bootstrapped everything in my life, my businesses, I have a soft.
For entrepreneurs, they’re starting out because I know how it feels. I know, I know the feeling, I know how it feels to have dreams that, and you can’t afford them. I know the feeling of getting to the end of the month and you’ve got no clue how you’re going to payables by yourself. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.
So I have a soft spot for them. And what I do now is I focus on helping those people, especially in the wellness. just making that process a little bit shorter because of the, with the technology that we have today and all the interconnectedness, it’s a lot easier to get yourself visible and get your name out there a lot quicker than it was even three years ago.
So, and that’s where I focus on mm-hmm. , I just basical. help solo entrepreneurs, especially in the wellness industry, that are tired of being that golden a needle in aac. They’re good, you know, they, they, they’ve done their courses, they produce results. I just help them mainly through podcast guesting but also through speaking and authoring to just build the visibility.
[00:32:39] Josh: Got it. Yeah. I mean, listen, you don’t have to tell me about the, the powers of podcasting obviously, but yeah. Can you talk maybe like high level two, three tips or pieces of advice for people that are trying to get their, them themselves or, or their business out there?
[00:32:58] Di-Di: Yeah. Again, and I’ve checked you out.
I see you’ve been in a guest of around about 25 episodes, so yeah, congratulations on that. I think that’s one of the most important Thank you things and high y’all, and, and the high level tips. Josh, you know, first of all, like all yours in life, start with a plan. Make sure you have a plan. Don’t just, you know, go and dapple and, you know, make it a little bit, a little bit there.
Make it a plan. Sit for your, set yourself an outcome. I want to appear on five podcasts in the next five months or whatever. So make a plan. Next is high level. Get yourself booked. You have to get off your butt. Nobody, nobody’s going to invite you to be on their podcast. You have to reach out to the podcast guests.
For somebody like you, high level that already has your own podcast, it’s very easy to do that because you can just invite other podcast hosts onto your show. First step, give them something. And then I, I do. 99% of those podcasters will invite me then to be on their podcast, so easy way to to be on somebody else’s podcast.
Next step number three, high level. Make sure that you are prepared. and make sure that you leverage each and every appearance that you’ve had. In terms of preparing. Make sure that you listen to that podcast and not just one episode. You need to listen to two, three, or four episodes. Get a feel for the show.
And again, apply your friendship folder. Make sure that you like the. . If you don’t like those, even if it’s the best show that you, you know, the, the high Vanity show, don’t, don’t, don’t approach. Just stay away. And if you just do those three things, plan, go out and get yourself booked and then monetize, you will see that in, in a very short time.
People start inviting you because if as your name goes out, people will reach out. .
[00:34:57] Josh: Yeah, it’s a great point now that I think about it. I, I don’t do much outreach to guests. It most, it mostly comes organically just because I have a lot of people Yeah. On the show. The other tip I want to add, Deedee, is I want to take a page out of your book, which is when you are reaching out to podcasters, really personal.
Because I do get a fair amount of requests and I, I don’t accept them all. And one of the reasons why I accepted yours was you were very intentional with your email. It clearly was not a copy paste. Right. You said, you know, it was like a, an intro to me personally. You had explained that you’d heard a couple of the podcasts, you know, the different episodes, what you liked and stuff like that.
So I find I see a very wide. of requests, right? They go from extremely cut and paste and bland, and standard to very personal. And it’s usually the very personal ones that I connect with. And I end up saying, Hey, yeah. Let you know. Let’s get you on the show. Mm-hmm. . So great job. And, and I just think that’s an important tip for people, especially those that have maybe tried and haven’t had much success.
So highly recommend that. Deedee my, my second last question. Anything. Maybe like the top one or two other ways people can kind of promote themselves without other, other than podcasting, which obviously we both think is an extremely great opportunity. But what are maybe one or two other ways or tips, or maybe there’s some entrepreneurs out there that are just very shy, they don’t love the idea of podcasting.
Some other ways that they can network or market themselves.
[00:36:32] Di-Di: Oh, again, I love that question because the, it’s, it’s not just podcasting, but it all focus around speaking, so it all centers around speaking. So if, if, if you, and, and I know speaking, you know, makes people’s knees weak you, you have to overcome that fear.
That’s that comfort zones thing that you have to grow out of it. But what I would recommend is definitely even if you are online, start off. See if there’s opportunities locally where you can go and give small talks. You know, 10, 15 people to 20 people doesn’t matter. The feedback you get from that is just, it’s just amazing.
And there’s a lot of energy, a lot more energy than any, any online. Any online event. So try speaking, try doing little workshops, small workshops, again, offline if you can. Just, just to, just to, to, to, to sharpen your teeth on and then collaborate. And especially if you shine, find somebody that does the same thing as you.
It can be a competing coach. And in, in, in, in my world, I don’t have competitors. I only. Go up, up competition because I go up with my competition. If you go and look at my podcast, you will see all my competitors have already been on my podcast. Because there’s no, the, the, the cake is large enough.
Reach out to those people. And do a live, do a live stream, even if it’s just the two of you and your mums, both of your mums looking at it. But that’s the way to, to, to get your name, name, name out there. So I would recommend those. Speak, speak, speak, find venues to speak. And I don’t include in that.
Dancing on TikTok doing Instagram stories , I, I don’t include those, but yeah, just find opportunities to speak. That’s the way to get your name out there. And at the same time, once you’re doing that, just you are building your thought leadership. You are articulating what you’re passionate about.
Yeah, speaking, podcasting, doing workshops, doing. Collaborative live streams. That’s the way to do it.
[00:38:42] Josh: Awesome. Great advice, Deedee. My last question is always, if. There’s somebody out there right now, they’re working a nine to five, they’re not sure what they want to do. They maybe have that entrepreneurial itch or they know they don’t like working for people and they want to do something, but they’re not sure what or they’re stuck.
What are one or two pieces of advice you’d give to them?
[00:39:06] Di-Di: That’s a great question. I love that one. I think first thing and some of your guests on your show have already said that don’t quit your. . That’s the most important thing. Do this, start doing this whilst you still have an income.
Because if you really want to be successful at a business, you don’t. It’s a lot of stress. There’s a lot of stress. I don’t care who says that There’s a lot of stress. So just start on your own. And I’ve already said this. Forget about you. What you’re passionate. Figure out what your, what, what’s your talent?
What’s your big talent? Then next step, figure out how you can monetize that talent, talent of yours. And there’s a million ways that you will be able to do that. The third step is then go and find someplace where some of the people, people that will buy that talent where they’re hanging out. And again, with technology today, there’s a million places you can find those people and start building your own tribe.
Where we are. If you have a hundred close followers, you’ve got a business. So those three steps, talent mon how to monetize and then start building a tribe and then you can pull the trigger.
[00:40:15] Josh: Great tips, great steps. Deedee, thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been great to hear your story, to hear your lessons.
If anybody wants to learn more about you or your business or get in touch or anything like that, where do you recommend they.
[00:40:30] Di-Di: Oh, cool. They can check me out on, on LinkedIn. It’s Di, di and Hoffman. Just check me out on LinkedIn. Connect with me. Say that you’ve, you’ve, you’ve heard me on on, on Solopreneur Grind podcast.
And yeah, let’s just connect and start building a, a new, a new business, for instance.
[00:40:48] Josh: Awesome. And we’ll link to that profile in the description. Di-Di, thanks again for coming on the show. We really appreciate.
[00:40:55] Di-Di: Thank you, Josh. Thank you for having me. And y’all, thank you for the great work you’re doing.
It’s an absolutely honor to be on a podcast that you actually love listening to. So ya, thank you for that.
[00:41:07] Josh: Thank you very much.