Show Notes

Show notes for the podcast

The Practical Entrepreneur #40: Julio Ruiz | Why you shouldn’t be afraid of Taxes

Hosted by Nicolas ‘Nick’ Luna

September 28, 2020



“If you have a good business plan, if you have something that you feel is going to make you money, go for it.”  –  Julio Ruiz

“Even if you have to pay x amount, do it because you can. Do it because you’re telling yourself, ‘hey, this is what I’m going to pay because I am making this much more.” – Julio Ruiz on the importance of paying your taxes

“The more informed you are about taxes, the better choices you’ll be making.” – Julio Ruiz 

Brief Summary: 

Julio Ruiz is Nick’s accountant and the owner of Julio’s Tax Services, an accounting and bookkeeping firm located in Lynwood, California. In this episode, Nick gets his mind blown as Julio breaks down the steps of filing your income tax returns and simplifies the intimidating and boring process of doing your taxes.


Julio Ruiz grew up liking numbers. Taking after his mom who is an accountant, Julio went to college to study accounting and found his true calling during his tax courses. Building a career and a business from accounting and tax services, he now owns Julio’s Tax Services, an accounting firm specializing in tax preparation services and payroll. In this episode, Julio helps Nick understand the importance of doing your taxes—the right way—and how you can make the most out of your income with a simple and downloadable conversion table.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • What things you need to consider when starting a business, managing your taxes, and investing your income (6:57)
  • Determining what assets you want to protect when choosing the type of corporation or business you want to build (8:23)
  • Julio discusses a timely difference between sole proprietor vs corporate business (9:00)
  • Nick gives an example of the importance of creating llcs for each asset (11:54)
  • Nick narrates a conversation with a friend that changed his mindset about paying taxes (15:03)

  • Julio gives a nice little reminder why paying taxes shouldn’t scare you (16:57)
  • Why withholding your income tax puts you at a disadvantage in the long run (19:11)
  • You don’t know how to check and compute your income tax? Julio knows the answer (20:42)
  • Julio breaks down Form 1040 (26:22)
  • Nick learns about state income tax laws (35:10)
  • Unfolding the secret behind the rich only getting richer with income tax exemptions (36:00)
  • Is it possible to not pay taxes when your corporation is in a different state? Julio explains why the answer is both yes and no (43:20)
  • Julio reiterates the importance of paying taxes: you enjoy these government services (44:56)
  • Why spending and investing your money wisely is better than making a lot (48:15)

  • Planning and knowing your taxes better will help you spend your money better (49:01)

  • Nick and Julio discuss the rewarding reasons behind spending your money wisely and supporting small businesses especially during a pandemic (59:24)

The Practical Entrepreneur #39: Hafeez Baoku | What to expect if you want to be a full time content creator

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

July 10, 2020


 “I don’t think the audience knows what they want. I think the audience knows what they don’t want. They really want you to discover what’s best for them and for you to give it to them to enjoy.” – Hafeez Baoku

 “People treat content the way they treat restaurants. If I’m going to an Italian restaurant, I aint’ trying to get burgers. If I’m going to five guys, I’m not trying to get sesame chicken. I’m going there for a specific reason.”

Brief Summary:

Hafeez Baoku is ½ of the pair that runs The Roommates podcast. With graphic design, social media marketing, video creation, and production under his sleeve, Hafeez has been a content professional for 6 years. In this episode, I chat with Hafeez to discuss content creation and the challenges that come with a successful podcast.


Hafeez Baoku is the cofounder and host of The Roommates podcast. He has been creating content for 6 years, one of which is the successful podcast called The Roommates, which is the go-to “brand for the everyday man to become the best version of himself.” In this episode, I talk to Hafeez and break down the goals and hurdles of a content creator, why you shouldn’t start a podcast, and controversial sports figures.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • The disadvantage of interview-type podcasts according to Hafeez (02:40)

  • Understanding what your audience wants to help improve your content (05:41)

  • Hafeez explains the reason behind their podcast’s diverse content and the main challenge that came along with that decision (08:39)

  • Hafeez dissects their audience’s gender demographic and how they analyzed it to decide the next steps for their podcast (13:09)

  • Hafeez’s piece of advice to people who want to start a successful podcast: don’t (17:29)

  • Establishing your long-form content by having a pre-established strong short-form content (19:05)

  • Why Hafeez doesn’t believe that he runs a successful podcast despite having thousands of listeners (22:14)

  • Hafeez describes the behind-the-scenes of inviting guests on their podcast, the goal behind interviewing guests, and the importance of listening to different perspectives (25:27)

  • Hafeez talks about the rationale behind The Roommates taking a focus on his and Chris’ content: ‘building equity on our name’ (32:27)

  • Researching other content creators as a big part of Hafeez’s decision-making (37:28)

  • Podcast content monetization vs YouTube content monetization (38:20)

  • Hafeez explains how YouTube helps content creators reach a bigger audience (42:37)

  • Hafeez breaks down the things one should consider in pursuing a career in content creation (46:18)

  • The importance of having planned content and being consistent with your brand (50:04)

The Practical Entrepreneur #38: Daniel Ramirez | How blowing up in business takes 23 years

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

May 8, 2020


“You know you love it when you find a way to make it work.” – Daniel Ramirez

“You make them feel wanted, needed, [and] that they can succeed in anything. You instill that confidence and show them that anything that they set their mind to is possible.” – Daniel Ramirez on teaching kids 

Brief Summary:

Daniel Ramirez is a taekwondo master with a 6th degree blackbelt. He used to serve in the U.S. Army before getting discharged due to an unexpected medical condition. Today, he runs his own taekwondo school in Washington State. In this episode, Danny shares the things that led to his career change and how pursuing his passion led his success in business.


Daniel Ramirez is a retired U.S. Army veteran who runs his own Taekwondo school called Twin Tigers in Washington State. Daniel is the current Vice President of USA Taekwondo Washington State Association and a USA Taekwondo and Amateur Athletic Union Certified Trainer, Coach and International Referee. In this episode, Daniel and I talk about tough love, pursuing your passion, and the joy of teaching kids.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • Daniel narrates his military background (01:06)

  • The path that Daniel took after being discharged from the military and realizing that he could pursue his passion for taekwondo (07:17)

  • Loving the job you’re doing even after a long time (12:47)

  • The challenges of teaching kids Taekwondo while in quarantine (14:09)

  • Daniel shares the reasons behind the success of his business despite not having any business background: going after what you want, learning to adapt, and having a supportive community (17:24)

  • Establishing trust in the community with a military background and a reputation for discipline (19:25)

  • Daniel expounds the three important things he learned from serving time in the military that he applied to his Taekwondo school: discipline, passion, and selfless service (22:48)

  • The rewarding feeling of teaching kids and making an impact on people’s lives (24:22)

  • There is no shortcut to success; for Daniel, 23 years was behind his overnight success (28:27)

  • Daniel talks about changing jobs and finding how to make your passion work (31:29)

  • The importance of working on your passion and continuously striving for growth through constant practice and applying criticism (34:46)

  • Daniel gives a piece of advice to people who are planning to shift careers in pursuit of their passion (41:06)

  • Understanding the role of coaches in training, personal improvement, and personal discipline (47:06)

The Practical Entrepreneur #37: Ricky the Realtor | HOW TO BE CONSISTENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

May 1, 2020


“You have to set a structure and [kind of] really outline what you’re hoping to accomplish.” – Ricky Carruth

“At the end of the day, you have to provide value. People are gonna want to follow you and work with you because one, that they like you, and two, they can appreciate who you are as a person and respect you.” – Ricky the Realtor

Brief Summary:

Ricky the Realtor is social media’s Mr. Consistent. He is a real estate agent, an active social media presence, and fur dad. In this episode, Ricky shares the biggest mistake home-buyers make, the secret to being consistent, and how to stand out in social media. 


Ricky J. Alvarez, known as ‘Ricky The Realtor’ is a real estate agent and realtor in East Bay, California. He has worked with a range of clients since becoming an agent in 2015, and has built a social media presence that made him the Tim Duncan of social media. In this episode, I have a conversation with Ricky about his social media secrets, the values he upholds, our internet identities, and his dog Yoda.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • Introducing the Tim Duncan of social media (01:27)

  • Ricky shares the secret to his social media consistency, showing his real life, and showing his value as a realtor (05:22)

  • Why Ricky chose social media to promote himself and build credibility for his business (08:01)

  • Ricky shares a piece of advice to people who are looking into building their social media presence: be straightforward and true to yourself (12:34)

  • Building trust in social media (13:21)

  • Why paying attention to people who look at your social media is important (15:36)

  • Ricky shares what sets him apart from other realtors, how he gained the knowledge of going a different direction for his social media, and basing his presence on helping other people instead of doing business (19:42)

  • How to overcome the fear of being in front of the camera and showing your face to social media (25:35)

  • Ricky reiterates how being personable, less sales-y, and genuinely passionate can make you stand out in a saturated market (31:17)

  • Following the big people in your field and learning from them (33:50)

  • Why Ricky’s goal is educating people first before making them his clients (34:39)

  • The biggest mistake of first time home-buyers and how to avoid making that mistake (38:44)

  • What qualities Ricky looks for when working with other people: genuine, passionate, and reciprocal (42:34)

  • Why being yourself in social media works out better than putting on a different personality (48:46)

The Practical Entrepreneur #36: Reyna Marrufo | Investing in yourself is more about the right mindset

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

March 16, 2020



“Some people do want to mentor you, but at the same time, I don’t think you’re gonna value it as much if you don’t pay for it.” – Reyna Marrufo on investing on personal development courses

“Just observe and listen. Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable.” – Reyna Marrufo on the right learning mindset when meeting new people

“The most vulnerable posts [on social media] are the ones that people really connect to.” – Reyna Marrufo

Brief Summary:

Reyna Marrufo is a 24-year old Latina entrepreneur who runs her own digital marketing agency helping women-owned businesses like hers. She is a business coach who has been awarded “Most Amazing Entrepreneur Award” by World Merit and 1 Life Fully Lived. In this episode, Reyna discusses the winning mindset to personal development.


Reyna Marrufo is a business coach, a Latina entrepreneur, and a women empowerment advocate. She helps women expand their brand with her own digital marketing agency, and hosts a podcast dedicated to women in business and personal development. In this first episode of 2020, I sit down with Reyna and talk about investing in one’s self, finding the right mentors, social media, and gym videos.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas

  • Reyna narrates the beginning of her devotion to investing in one’s self (03:40)

  • Reyna weighs in on the teacher-student relationship in response to the idea that everyone is constantly learning in life (04:42)

  • How winning a contest led Reyna to the path of personal development (06:17)

  • Reyna shares her perspective on why spending on long-term investments is a better financial decision (11:23)

  • Finding a negotiation between your passion and your degree (14:42)

  • What steps to turn all your personal development training into concrete actions according to Reyna (17:25)

  • Reyna explains the importance of being self-reflexive when it comes to choosing personal development courses (21:45)

  • The right mindset when finding the right mentors (24:21)

  • Reyna gives advice to people who feel uncomfortable in entrepreneur conferences (28:50)

  • How Reyna prioritized learning opportunities over personal differences (31:59)

  • Why documenting your journey, the ups and the downs, is important to your development (35:14)

  • Reyna speaks about just doing what you want to do and taking things day by day (39:07)

  • How having a schedule and taking care of her health keep Reyna motivated on her goals (42:59)

  • The importance of surrounding yourself with positive and like-minded people (44:49)

The Practical Entrepreneur #35: Cammy Nguyen | Nail artist, Lashes queen, Straight Hustler

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

September 13, 2019



“Once you take a class, it doesn’t mean anything. It just means you have the skill. You have the technique down, but it’s up to you to practice and get good at it.” – Cammy Nguyen


“You make your money back on when you get good.” – Cammy Nguyen


“You gotta do what you gotta do, but then you’re miserable and you make other people miserable. Do it with a smile because at least you’re taking a step. Be happy that you’re gonna get to where you wanna be.” – Cammy Nguyen


Brief Summary:

Cammy Nguyen is a licensed cosmetologist who owns a self-titled brand specializing in eyelash extensions. With a career spanning more than 20 years, Cammy has worked with A-listers and big influencers, and has her work featured in big magazines in the U.S.. In this episode, I share a conversation with Cammy over a bottle of wine about her early beginnings and her life as a self-made business owner.




Cammy Nguyen is a 20-year licensed cosmetologist who’s famous for her eyelash extensions services and her self-made and self-titled brand. Her work is sought after by the biggest celebrities and influencers, and in this episode, Cammy tells us the reason behind her fame and success. Listen to Cammy and I as we talk about the importance of practicing your skills, dealing with racism, mean people, and seeking advice. 

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • What life was growing up and what made Cammy pursue a career in the beauty industry (00:02:30)

  • Cammy gives a funny tip when you’re getting your nails done (00:04:11)

  • How tirelessly pursuing your passion through continuous training worked out for Cammy (00:06:26)

  • Focusing on being good and practicing your skills (00:08:15)

  • Cammy shares her process when monetizing her skills and growing it into a source of income (00:09:22)

  • Realizing that not everyone works like you do and moving forward with that knowledge (00:10:52)

  • How Cammy figured out that she was going to make her own brand after setting up her first business (00:13:33)

  • Cammy explains why your number of followers on social media does not matter as much as the money you’re making (00:16:22)

  • The future of beauty industry according to Cammy (00:18:54)

  • Why Cammy did not pursue her own YouTube channel despite knowing she could do it (00:22:25)

  • Cammy recalls her business’ rise to fame and the things she had to sacrifice to get to where she is to day (00:24:48)

  • Cammy gives a piece of advice to people who want to achieve the same things she has (00:27:53)

  • Advice from experienced people matters more than money (00:29:59)

  • Cammy explains why doing what you want to do comes after doing what you need to do (00:33:00)

  • Keeping a positive attitude even when you don’t like what you are doing, because it’s a step towards what you want to do (00:35:18)

  • Cammy delves into how it is to be a POC businesswoman and coming out of her encounters of racism as a stronger and more hardworking person (00:36:32)

  • The mindset to have when people look down on you based on your profession (00:44:52)

  • Reinvesting in your business is looking out for your future self (00:46:54)

  • Cammy reiterates why you should never judge a book by its cover and why you should work hard for what you really want (00:53:55)

  • How to avoid seeking for advice the wrong way (00:56:47)

The Practical Entrepreneur #34: Sharon Tseung | Traveling the world for 2 years and making money online…and still able to save

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

September 6, 2019



“Purpose is where passion and impact merge.” – Sharon Tseung

“I just appreciate all different walks of life. There’s no one good way to live. There’s no set rule on how you should live.” – Sharon Tseung

Brief Summary:

Sharon Tseung is the owner of DigitalNomadQuest, a business website that teaches you the basics of being a digital nomad and building passive income. She traveled the world for two years while working on different positions and saving up. In this episode, we talk about digital nomad 101 and living based on what you want out of life.




Sharon Tseung is a digital nomad and an expert on passive income streams. In 2016, Sharon decided to travel the world while working in marketing and for two years, she’s lived abroad across different countries while earning passive-income. Today, she’s back in the Bay Area teaching people how to do it themselves. In this episode, I share a conversation with Sharon over what it’s like to be a digital nomad, the things you should consider when planning to work abroad, our funny travel stories, and food.


The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • Sharon recalls her early days in marketing and how it has helped and how it has helped her in her personal businesses (02:26)
  • The differences in marketing in 2012 vs today, according to Sharon (03:12)
  • How being a digital nomad can be cost-effective when you choose the right places to travel to (05:34)
  • Sharon lays out the necessities of a digital nomad: a carry-on suitcase, a backpack, clothes, and a laptop (07:37)
  • Logistics of finances when you’re always traveling (08:30)
  • Sharon shares the best thing about living abroad and working remote (09:16)
  • Share delves into her experience as an Asian traveling in Europe and the realization that people are just naturally curious when they see something uncommon (11:15)
  • The things that you should do before traveling while working (13:31)
  • How Sharon’s family took the new of her working abroad and how she maintained her relationship with them while she was away 915:35)
  • Sharon discloses her previous reservations about traveling and how she settled in her digital nomad life (17:40)
  • How food helps in bringing the feeling of home closer and how online communities make you feel less alone when you’re abroad (20:18)
  • Finding your purpose in life and making an impact through your passion (23:08)
  • What traveling around the world has taught Sharon about marketing and how she applied those learning in her her (30:20)
  • Sharon’s least favorite parts about living abroad (32:39)
  • Sharon shares some of the things she learned from bad experiences overseas (38:26)
  • A few things that Sharon wishes she did more during her time as a nomad (40:23)
  • What Sharon learned from meeting different people from all walks of life (43:48)
The Practical Entrepreneur #31: Lupita Martinez | Are you suffering from Imposter Syndrome?

Hosted by Nicolas Luna

July 26, 2019


“Not giving yourself the credit for all the hard work that you do, that is imposter syndrome. Being able to not recognize that you are actually of value and you are actually worth all the work that you’ve done, that is imposter syndrome.”  –  Lupita Martinez on recognizing imposter syndrome

Brief Summary:
Lupita Martinez is a licensed marriage and family therapist who runs a business called Therapy of the Sun in Southern California. Her expertise is on imposter syndrome and individual therapy. In this episode, Lupita breaks down the things that lead to imposter syndrome and how she works with young professionals in dealing with it.


Lupita Martinez is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Southern California. As a lifelong student, one of Lupita’s biggest interests is Latinx mental health, a topic that she focused on in her thesis and current research. She provides different services like individual therapy, couples therapy, and immigration evaluations. In this episode, I sit down with Lupita to talk about imposter syndrome, how to deal with our partners, her experience as a POC therapist, and Game of Thrones.

The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:

  • Lupita briefly shares her beginnings and her journey as therapist (02:17)

  • Lupita talks about her own experience with a therapist in the early days of her career (03:50)

  • Intuition as an important aspect of decision-making (05:57)

  • Lupita shares how her community has been an amazing source of support on her career (08:25)

  • Community as a great source of information and collaborator in her business (11:09)

  • What is imposter syndrome? Lupita explains the symptoms and how the syndrome manifests in our lives (13:00)

  • How good money habits translate into a good lifestyle (16:48)

  • Lupita shares how young individuals develop imposter syndrome due to poor time and money management (18:48)

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy as a way of understanding people’s negative perception of themselves (19:48)

  • How our core beliefs shape the way we think and how we see ourselves, and some of the ways that we can reinstate a positive image of ourselves (21:07)

  • Lupita gives an advice on how people, especially men, can deal with a negative comment from their partners (23:51)

  • Stress can stem a lot from anxiety of wanting to deliver well in our profession, Lupita says routine and gratitude journaling help handle the pressure better (28:40)

  • How writing down your to-dos can help in managing your life and how to consistently implement them (32:55)

  • Lupita shares her ultimate goal for her patients: preventative care and not crisis management (34:47)

  • Getting down to the nitty-gritty of applying for health insurance when you’re self-employed (36:05)

  • Lupita talks about Game of Thrones and how the show depicts real life relationships (39:26)

  • How your favorite Game of Thrones house reflects the things that matter to you (41:57)

  • Lupita shares how music helps in managing your anxiety as you go through your day (45:01)