Funny story how I “met” Audrey Ostoyic. Audrey left such an awesome comment on one of our previous articles, that I felt compelled to pop over to her website and take a look. I was not disappointed. What I found was a beautiful, professional site offering much needed courses, delivered with such warmth from the 3 family members involved, that my next move was a no-brainer.
I asked Audrey whether she’d be willing to be interviewed on Inspiring Mompreneurs as well. She enthusiastically agreed!
And that about sums up who Audrey is, and what she’s about: ENTHUSIASM! If you sign up for any of Audrey’s courses, you’ll find exactly the same kind of enthusiasm in her training. No wonder they are getting thousands of views!
And if it weren’t for Audrey’s enthusiastic comment on Sherry Green’s interview, we wouldn’t have this interview…
Do you consider yourself an Entrepreneur?
Yes, I do.
Do you consider yourself a Successful Entrepreneur?
Yes. I’m not financially where I would like to be, but Success to me is helping others, and that is something I feel I’m doing. Every time someone comes back to me and says “hey, the training was great, I learnt so much from your course…”. Financially I’m not where I would like to be, but I do feel I’m successful in that I’m doing the very thing I love to do, which is teaching people.
What is your background? Are you a Teacher?
I homeschooled my children.
Officially I’ve been doing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) since 1999 with my sister, who owned a company.. The contract she was working for went in-house and so her company kind of went by the wayside. That’s when I started looking into affiliate marketing in 2001, 2002, dabbled around in drop shipping. That’s when I started homeschooling my children, still doing some work on the internet, doing some contract work for my sister, who started another company.
In 2009 I went back to school and got a Bachelor of Science Degree in Internet Marketing. I’ve always been in internet marketing, SEO, but Affiliate Marketing always intrigued me and that’s when I joined Wealthy Affiliate. I think it’s almost been 4 years now, since I joined WA.
The way this membership came about is I put up a You Tube video that was a Beginners Guide to Facebook. It was because one of my Mom and Dad’s parent’s friends wrote a very personal letter to someone and put it on their wall instead of sending it in a private message.
When it had around 60,000 or 70,000 views, and I was getting responses like:
“Thank you so much. I’m not scared of facebook anymore.”
You’ve always been told you’ve got a gifting to teach, people understand what you’re saying and you anticipate what people are about to ask and you answer the question. I thought maybe I should put together a facebook course. Now it’s come to this big membership site with Skype, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube courses geared towards baby boomers and seniors. But I find a lot of people who are just beginning with social media, are also finding them helpful.
Has Wealthy Affiliate helped you?
I always tell my husband, Wealthy Affiliate will always be a community I will be a part of. The training and the community. It’s a very neat community.
How many children do you have?
I have 3. A son of 24, a daughter who will be 23 this year, and my youngest daughter is 18.
When did you take the decision to become an Entrepreneur?
I don’t think I ever made the decision, as much as it has always been who I am. I made the decision to start walking out that calling in 2002.
Why did you take the decision to become an Entrepreneur?
If I hadn’t then I would probably always have this burning desire to do something more, and would never have been able to quench that fire.
Do you like the term Mompreneur?
Yes. I think it’s very cute, and it describes us perfectly.
What has been the number one highlight of your career (as a Mompreneur)?
Having my courses being taught in a local assisted living facility. That’s pretty neat, sitting there watching me up on the big screen and teaching them. But the amazing part is sitting back and watching them learn it, seeing light bulbs go off. I must say, that has been the biggest highlight.
Each of these courses has the stamp of approval by Napoleon’s Idiot. My Dad has gone through every single one of these courses, and told us if there’s a video he did not understand, or I didn’t answer him correctly, or left him confused. I have gone back in and re-done videos if he feels there is something left out. Every video has to have his stamp of approval.
What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome in your career?
Fear and Rejection. I would think, those two, at some point, everybody has that, but I think some people just barrel through it, and think ok, whatever…whereas people like me really have to push through the fear of being rejected and know that you’re not the one being rejected. They are rejecting what you’re trying to sell them, they are rejecting the service, the product, not you. I still sometimes have to get out of my comfort zone, and I’m learning to barrel through it.
Have you done any Sales previously?
I used to work for a cable company and we had to sell HBO and Cinemax. I always won a ton of prizes for the most sales. But I’m not a hard sales person. I don’t like asking for money, I don’t like the whole closing the deal. But as my Dad has told me, Audrey, you’re a natural seller because of your enthusiasm. You don’t even realise you’re selling them.
If you told me I had to go in and do this sale, and you have to walk out of there with the sale, I think I probably would choke. But if there’s a passion behind it, I think I could sell, but as far as being a sales person who knows the ins and outs of making the sale, that’s not me.
Do you think it’s harder now that this is your own product, you’ve created them yourself, you’ve invested a lot into it, it’s more personal?
I think it’s actually easier for me now. Because I know what they’re getting. I know it, inside and out, so I can get so much more excited about it. And I’ve been able to see first hand how it’s changing the lives of those who are taking the courses. They are connecting with family and friends they haven’t seen or talked to in years. The look on their faces… to me it’s a no brainer. This is what you’re getting! Grandparents that stay connected with their Grandchildren on Facebook and Skype.
What has been the number one highlight of Motherhood for you?
There were actually 3 Highlights, since I have 3 children:
Becoming a Grandmother
Watching my eldest daughter graduate bootcamp
Watching my youngest daughter walk down the aisle on her wedding day
What has been the greatest challenge for you to overcome as a Mother?
Watching my children do the complete opposite of what they were taught and then seeing them have to deal with the consequences of those actions. (They put me through some stuff, running away, not knowing where they’re at, being arrested, and dealing with all the consequences of those… a lot of heart breaking stuff. However they are on the upswing now, they made it through, I made it through.)
Has it been tricky balancing work and home life?
In the beginning it was. It was very tricky but now I’m in the habit, I’ve got a routine down. It took me about 3 or 4 years to get my routine down.
What do you love most about being a Mom Entrepreneur?
I get to set my own schedule which means I can watch my grandchildren and spend as much time with them as I want. If I was working for someone I would not be able to do that.
I get to dress the way I like. I’ll dress up for meetings, but I’m in Florida, so just give me a pair of khaki shorts or jean shorts, and a pair of flip flops and t-shirt.
All things considered, do you feel it was a good decision to become an Entrepreneur?
Yes, absolutely. (Even though the money’s not there yet? I know the money is coming. Jude has been the missing piece in the writing and doing the landing page. I’m super excited about that.)
Do you work from home? If so, what does your room or desk look like?
I turned one of the spare bedrooms into an office. (I’ll send you a picture). It’s grey walls, I brighten it up with some pink and some turquoise, and I have a little chalkboard that I write on. I love the office.
Do you think it’s harder to balance work and home life working from home?
Once again that goes back to boundaries. In the beginning it was. It was very hard, because when I started it, I still had the kids here.
Now we have a different season. My son lives with me, but is about to move out on his own again and both daughters are out of the house on their own.
What daily rituals are important for you to maintain work-life balance?
Being a woman of faith, my first thing I do in the morning is read my bible and pray. Seek God and ask Him what do I need to do today, what is my priority. That’s my coffee and alone time.
Then I do a workout for 30 minutes because I’m sitting down for most of the day.
Then in the evenings I sit down and write down what I got done that day and what I need to do for the next day, so in the morning I just go through that.
That’s kind of the ritual I have every day, 5 days a week. I take weekends off from work. I’m always getting in my prayer and exercises. Prayer and Exercise 7 days a week.
Do you feel you have already created your best work?
To an extent, yes, but I also believe that, until I take my last breath, God still has more work for me to do.
If you were to die tomorrow, would you be at peace knowing you had lived a full, happy and meaningful life? Or would you feel you were dying with your song unsung?
I would feel I died, full, and happy and had a meaningful life.
Do you have a message you would like the world to hear?
Each one of us really does have a gift and a calling on our lives, and when we figure it out, there should be nothing that stops us.
I say that because, it finally hit me that I’m a Teacher, and I’m good at it (not being prideful). I’m able to answer a question even before they ask it, and I’m able to break things down, and people can have aha moments.
It wasn’t until I did that video, the beginners guide to Facebook, and I got that feedback, from all over the world, and in every single different age group, that I finally realized, that’s what I’m good at – I’m good at teaching. How can I make that a business, while helping people?
When you find what you’re really good at and love doing, I’d say go for it, you’ll always find a way to make money.
You and I have both learned at Wealthy Affiliate, there are so many passions out there, wow.
Is there a book or a song or a movie that has had huge significance or meaning in your life?
What advice would you give someone just starting out as an entrepreneur?
Set your boundaries, and stick to them. That would be the biggest one.
When I say boundaries, for instance…I’m a helper, I love to help people, and I always try to be there for family, friends, and neighbors. I have neighbors, and they would stop by and want to talk, or call and say hey, would you pick up my kid?
I had to explain that just because I work from home, doesn’t mean I have free time. I’m still working. I had to have a mindset that I’m working from 8 to 5 on my business. And the laundry, and the dishes, they can wait… It’s those boundaries I’m talking about.
Another one I thought of is, don’t be so hard on yourself. Every single entrepreneur had to start somewhere. We’ve all been through every single thing you’re going through. Just set your sights on what you’re going for, and not be moved.
Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you first became a Mom?
The Hallmark movies, they are just movies. Hopefully the teenage years won’t be the worst years of your life, they’ll just be blissful and everything. But the teenage years, if they do go haywire, they do come back. The Hallmark movies, this nice picture of happy families. You have happy moments, but it’s not all happy, it’s not all fun and games, it’s work. Don’t beat yourself up. When they make their own mistakes, they make them, not you.
Is there anything you feel you missed out on by becoming an entrepreneur?
I do miss working with others, networking and everything. I miss the big office parties and holiday parties. But look, I get to meet you, and Jude, and I talk to my sister virtually every day, but she is on the completely opposite side of the US. I am South East, and she’s on the North West. We see each other on skype all the time, but I miss throwing ideas out. My sister and I, we’ve been working together for so long, that we have the same mindset, the same ideas. So I miss working with others who go: “Oh, what about this, did you think about that?” That whole group of everybody throwing their ideas in. But I still wouldn’t trade it. I’m content where I’m at.
Is there anything you feel you gained by becoming an entrepreneur?
Freedom is the number 1 thing.
Do you feel you chose an easy path or a difficult one?
Difficult at first, easy now.
Who is your target market? If I were to give you a referral, who would I be looking for?
Seniors, Baby Boomers and Beginners to social media.
Is your market local or international?
Global. The other one is local right now, but this is something that could go international. Anyone that has assisted living communities. Anyone can take this and sell it themselves. Maybe down the line a bit, we can open this up.