Interview with Regina Anaejionu
When I first laid eyes on the homepage of byregina.com I knew this girl was talking my language.
(Not quite my accent though – her time in the States is scrubbing the Queen’s English twang right away! Tomato, tomato)
I saw a business lady who could still let her personality shine through alongside her business know-how and experience.
(And I don’t mean she picked up a book by Tony Robbins and called herself qualified – this chick actually studied business and has a boatload of published articles on sites like Entrepreneur.com)
So naturally Regina was one of the first people I knew I had to interview for this series where I showcase creative business owners, coaches, freelancers and entrepreneurs who are setting the standard in this crazy game.
I was thrilled when this ninja came back to me with an audio reply (if you didn’t know already I’m HOOKED on podcasts and audiobooks – it leaves my eyes free for other things.) So I’m including it below, alongside a transcribed version for you readers out there.
Interview with Regina Anaejionu
1) What was your first big break in your career/when did you feel ‘yes! this is working!’ first?
The first time I was really like “Yo this whole online entrepreneur thing will really work!” was after I had built a successful freelance business and was able to create a full time income with it BUT I wasn’t really happy with that so the first time I really felt like “YESSS I can do it!” was when I sold my first $3 ebook.
It was an ebook and workbook and I sold it on the Gumroad platform. The first time I got a notification that some stranger on the internet had purchased this thing from me, downloaded it, hopefully used it, I was blown away and I was like… this is my moment I can do it… YES!
So even though it was a very simple thing and it was only $3 and it was way less than I used to be paid to make full websites, it was the most meaningful moment for me because it meant I could create this full piece of information stand-alone product that somebody could buy, download get delivered to them immediately and in theory change a person’s life or help them with their goals. So that was my first moment!
2) Do you have any morning routine you can share?
I actually do and it was something that I only recently started doing and it has changed my life. I don’t mean to sound dramatic (but actually yes I do.) I do not have a specific wake up time but I do have a specific this-is-what-you-do-forever-dot-com when you wake up.
This is basically writing 1000 words before I check Twitter, check my email, read anybody’s blog, read a book… I don’t consume content by any other person in the world or try and respond to anything before I’ve written 1000 words that are coming from a very focused place.
I got this idea for my friend Justin Shiels who does client design work and he says that he does his client work before he checks social media or does anything else. I thought that was so brilliant because you’re just creating from this real place, where are other things have an influenced you yet.
So I write my 1000 words before I get into anything else it can be as a lesson that I’m writing for a course it can be a blog post it can be part of an email it can be anything that I need to do as long as I’m writing it from scratch. Sometimes I will reference my own work but just not anybody else’s.
3) Where do you look for inspiration?
Legit for me I have some sister industries that I like and I will look at like interior design blogs and food blogs but lately I’ve been trying to look for a lot of non-Internet inspiration. As woo-woo as that sounds, that will be some good conversations with friends over wine, it will be going outside for a walk, it will be shopping in the art store (I’m not even an artist) but it’s just something that inspires me and causes me to be a bit more creative. I’ll buy a real simple magazine that has pretty pictures or something like that.
I’m not reading any content that in my industry for inspiration because I do not want to get my brain to get clouded with that.
4) What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
I would have told myself thank you will waste so much time trying to be anything but who you are and that is not ever worth it. For me the biggest benefit of running the business that I run now has been being able to be myself.
I was having a conversation with a good friend who started her own business recently just 2 weeks ago. The conversation was basically: “Look, you get to wake up, be yourself, get to talk as yourself, you get to have relationships with people as yourself, you get to set your own schedule…”
If I was to tell myself or anyone else it would be that do not spend the time trying to be somebody else. and you do it in small sneaky ways it’s not just “oh I saw this person and then I copied their whole life, I’m going to wear the jeans they wear, I’m going to write the kind of things they write…” it’s not that simple.
You’re not being yourself when even smaller things are happening like you’re starting to position your packages like so-and-so or you think because x-y-z person released a certain type of course or webinar or workshop or whatever that you need to go ahead and do something similar.
If you’re building somebody else’s content plan without trying to think of something you’ve never even really seen it done before in this industry or something new you can do… if you’re building somebody else’s content plan then you’re going to end up with some kind of unreal version of yourself and I don’t think you’ll be happy and I don’t think your audience will ultimately benefit from that as much. Eventually you’ll wake up and you realise that you build a business that’s not really you.
5) Who are your mentors?
This one’s going to sound a little cheesy or funny or I don’t know but legitimately my parents and my brother. They’re just people that believe in doing well and doing the best you can, being creative, not living by what exactly society would say would be the standard.
I also have a really good friend named Allysa who will speak slowly and enjoy life and not be rushed and not rush you. The way she lives her life has just always communicated to me that people’s words are valuable, your thoughts are valuable, your content what you create a valuable, so you can take time with it. You don’t need to feel like you’re taking up people’s time in a bad way to explain yourself or to try and get at the heart of a matter in a conversation.
It doesn’t sound like part of business but it really has been such a big part of feeling the permission to go a bit longer if it needs to you and hopefully somebody get something from that.
6) What book has made the biggest impact on you?
The book that I really liked most just because just because it really began to change the way I thought about social media was called Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen. He was the first person I have ever read he was really trying to promote creating delight for your customers and your business in general.
I had never really thought of social media as a place to create delight – I just saw it as this thing that you have to do for your business nobody is really good at it but you’ve got to do it. I’ve learnt a lot since then but that was probably the book that made the biggest impact on. It just shifted my thinking about social media – and social media has been the biggest part of growing my business.
That was amazing, thank you Regina! I love your tip about busting out working on something creative BEFORE getting bogged down with the outside world as soon as you wake up.
For more of Regina, you should go straight to her site byregina.com (and be prepared to spend the best part of an hour there going through her amazing content… make coffee.)
You can also connect with both of us on twitter to let us know what you thought of the interview: @byreginatv and @catrosedesign
Pssst! I’d love to know your answer to one of the above questions! Answer in the comments below.