Grace Nasralla BizBites podcast

Grace Kusta Nasralla grew up in a home of entrepreneurs. Her parents owned and operated a sewing supplies store in Beirut, Lebanon, so grew up with entrepreneurship from a very early age. After spending many years working in the corporate world, she started her own business back in 2005. From there she’s built a virtual network of small business owners growing to over 700. She started running events, meaning clients potential leads for her business. All of it face to face. In 2017, she started Huddle Space. Huddle Space is a workplace facility. Think co-location that rents small offices to small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.

Topics we covered:

  • Forging a dream built on a pool of entrepreneurial effort
  • The magic bullets to flourishing as an entrepreneur in spite of roadblocks
  • Why having a growth mindset can do no wrong in podcasting and business

This episode is brought to you by “Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. I’ve been using podcasting as a powerful business growing tool for years. Nothing is more powerful than podcasting for help businesses grow. If you’re tired of playing roulette with your ad dollars and frustrated with algorithms constantly changing on social media platforms, the only thing that has changed about podcasting is the popularity of the platform.

If you’re a business owner and you want to grow your business but you’re not sure where to start, then join the FREE 5-Day Podcast Accelerator Challenge“. Within 5 days, you’ll go from no podcast to having a full realized podcast with built in strategies to help use this tool for your business.


Select Links from the Episode:

Show Notes:

  • How COVID affected Grace’s office space rental business (01:50)
  • Achieving her dream from the comfort of her home (02:49)
  • Creating the perfect environment for entrepreneurs to flourish (04:05)
  • How podcasting became a mutually beneficial platform for her business and that of other entrepreneurs (04:49)
  • Why podcasting is the perfect compromise of providing valuable knowledge in today’s busy world (07:16)
  • Why English being her second language didn’t stop Grace from producing a stellar podcast (09:23)
  • The secret to being unphased, even thriving, despite any challenge faced as an entrepreneur (11:30)
  • Using podcasts as a lead magnet for your target market (12:36)
  • Establishing a pool of entrepreneurial effort that is mutually beneficial thanks to podcasting (13:00)
  • How collaboration with fellow small business owners works in her podcast process (14:01)
  • Achieving success with a network of like-minded entrepreneurs (14:31)
  • The power of applying a growth mindset to podcasting (15:31)

Transcript:

Cliff Duvernois: Today’s episode is brought to you by podcast pipeline. We’ll take care of all your podcast production so you can focus on your business. Visit us at PodcastPipeline.com. 

Cliff Duvernois: Hey they’re world-changers and welcome to another episode of Entrepreneurs on Podcasting. Now today’s guests that grew up in a home of entrepreneurs. Her parents owned and operated a sewing supplies store in Beirut, Lebanon. So she kind of grew up with entrepreneurship from a very early age. After spending many years working in the corporate world, she started her own business back in 2005.

Cliff Duvernois: From there she’s built a virtual network of small business owners growing to over 700. That’s impressive. From there. She started running events, meaning clients potential leads for her business. All of it face to face. In 2017, she started huddle space. Huddle space is a workplace facility. Think co-location that rents small offices to small businesses, startup and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.

Cliff Duvernois: Please welcome to the show. The host of the Biz Bites podcast, Grace Costa Nasralla. Grace, how are you? 

Grace Nasralla: I am fine. Thank you, Cliff. Thank you for hosting me on your show.

Cliff Duvernois: Great. It’s great to have you, and I’m really looking forward to our chat today. So tell us a little bit more about your business. 

Grace Nasralla: Well, I’m going to start with Huddle Space. Huddle Space provides furnished offices for small business owners. We also provide business addresses for them. Uh, we provide them with a professional environment and the right space with some essential. To, for them to grow their business. That’s basically what I’m focusing on right now.

Grace Nasralla: Unfortunately with COVID-19 I had to close the virtual network because I wasn’t able to connect with them and provide them. The right events that I would like to provide them with. I tried, I tried virtual events, but I really didn’t feel the connection there. So that’s what I’m doing right now.

Cliff Duvernois: okay. Now I have to ask the question. What made you decide to start getting into furnished office space and providing offices for people? What was, what was your thinking behind. 

Grace Nasralla: It was a dream for me. I when I started my business as a web designer, even the dream was was to have that business hub and I’m very thankful that I was able to fulfill my dream now. I’m not there physically every day, but the places monitored by cameras. So many times I just sit and watch the P the busy place that, that it has that we have been able to get there.

Grace Nasralla: Right.

Cliff Duvernois: When I was living in California, I took advantage of co-location there because I just found, I wasn’t able to really work in my home, like I wanted to. And so when you have that, Type of environment, right? Where you’re surrounded by other entrepreneurs who are also, many of them are facing the same challenges you are.

Cliff Duvernois: It does create an environment where, you can really, be social, you can talk to other entrepreneurs, you know, it gives you that, that real sense of community to be able to just, talk to people and you just learn, oh, this is how I solved this problem. Or, you know what I actually know of somebody who’s looking for your services so I can connect you.

Cliff Duvernois: So, yeah, it was just a really, really nice cohesive space. 

Grace Nasralla: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you know, when I’m there, like you get, you, you get a different connection with these entrepreneurs that are working hard to grow their business. And I find myself learning from them and from their experience from watching them grow, you know, when they start, I ha I have one lawyer that started fresh as soon as she graduated from university.

Grace Nasralla: Right. And now she’s grown and I see, you know, clients coming and waiting for her and meeting with her. It’s so much fun to watch them grow.

Cliff Duvernois: Uh, that’s gotta be beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Now, what, what made you decide to get into podcasting? 

Grace Nasralla: When I started the virtual network and I found that it, uh, it grew so quickly to, Over 700 businesses there. I thought I have to start coming up with ideas to help them grow and to help my network grow as well. And that’s when I thought of the podcast idea and I started exploring.

Grace Nasralla: Podcasts platforms we have out there and how it works and all that. And the idea I came up with was short bites. I called them biz bites, business sites. The podcast is maximum four minutes long. And the, I find entrepreneurs loving it our channel within few years we had over 6,000 downloads within, within a few years and, uh, yeah, we find it growing every day.

Cliff Duvernois: You said your virtual network is growing over 700 businesses and you thought podcasts would be a great tool. You think podcasting is better than just sending it out like an email blast to your community? Or is there something particular about podcasts that you thought would, would be a better tool? 

Grace Nasralla: Yes, definitely. Definitely. And you can reach a different audience. If we wanted to to reach an audience that is not within our network, right. So would the email blast, you only reach your network? Right. But with, podcasting, you display your knowledge. It’s showcasing your knowledge and your experience.

Grace Nasralla: Right. And that’s what our channel is about. Right. It’s entrepreneurs reaching other entrepreneurs. So it’s not about me only. I have some podcasts there some bites there, but but other entrepreneurs also have their own there. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Something I do want to go back and explore a little bit more. Because I know that a lot of times when we start some kind of a new endeavor, we already have everything pre-framed in our mind. And so when a lot of people think about podcasting, they’re thinking, oh my goodness, it’s gotta be a 30 minute show, or it’s gotta be an hour long show or something else like that.

Cliff Duvernois: But there is a whole world out there of micro podcasts, which are 10 minutes or less. And you mentioned before that your episodes are anywhere between. Three to four minutes. Why did you decide to start producing short episodes? 

Grace Nasralla: because with all the technology and the noise around us, I feel our attention spam has shrunk. Right? 

Cliff Duvernois: Yes, it has. 

Grace Nasralla: And I, I like I wanted to come up with an idea where I can benefit other entrepreneurs and have them listen to each and every word we give out. And I felt, yeah I think maximum four hours is enough.

Grace Nasralla: We can give out a message in three, four hours, four minutes for sure.

Cliff Duvernois: Definitely. And so there’s something to be said for that, because it all goes back to understanding who is actually listening to your podcast and. Being able to take a step back and say, you know what, if we can get the same information in four minutes, that would probably serve our audience even better because they could just listen to something, get some kind of a quick tip and then go about their day.

Cliff Duvernois: It won’t take them any longer to buy. By the time they warmed up, they’re frozen burrito for lunch. Right. They could have gained some piece of knowledge and put that out there. So, Yeah. it’s really about understanding that it’s not about getting trapped into thinking that you have to create. Uh, 30 minute episode,

Grace Nasralla: Yeah. Yeah. My objective is to either. Educate them within four minutes of, we choose a topic and we write some content and the objective is to educate or trigger their thinking. We want them to think about a certain topic and give it good thought.

Grace Nasralla: Right? 

Cliff Duvernois: Right?

Cliff Duvernois: Yes, definitely. And I think just stepping in there, just providing that value I do in a short format. I mean, there’s something to be said for brevity, it’s just to keep it short, keep it simple. And the people love it, man. No, there they will. They will definitely let you know.

Cliff Duvernois: What I would like to do is let’s take a step back. So you decided you’re going to launch a podcast. You want to communicate this, you start communicating with your community. You’ve decided I’m going to do the micro podcast. The three to four minutes long, which was brilliant. What was one of your biggest struggles when it came to podcasting and getting stuff? 

Grace Nasralla: My biggest struggles when it came to podcasting is I have a background in communications and media. That’s my educational background. I have a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and media. it was very easy for me to create content, however, English is my second language and the voice over, I struggled with the voiceover.

Grace Nasralla: So this year I’ve decided, okay, I’m going to end that because I know it’s my weakness. I’m not too. Self-confident about it. So this year I decided I’m going to put them into it and I’d just stood in a voice over a course. That’s five modules I already started and finished one module.

Grace Nasralla: And I mean, I’m excited about, finishing the whole course and learning from it over is my channel. My, my, my challenge. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Okay. Wonderful. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: because I can tell you this I’ve talked to people from all over the world for soft. Your English is good, right? It’s it’s great. It’s it’s really good. So I can off, I’ve actually spent some time listening to your podcast. And you’re actually learning a lot and you do really well. I can tell you from my standpoint, you’re doing a really good job and, and I’m going to also say as well, is that. You’re doing more than 90 or 95% of the people that are out there.

Cliff Duvernois: You know, a lot of people will talk about starting a podcast, but they never do. And these are people that speak English fluently by the way, because they think it absolutely has to be perfect. But you know, you were able to, even though you know that English, isn’t your second language, you’re able to push through all that and put a podcast episode.

Cliff Duvernois: So first off, kudos to you for that. You should definitely pat yourself on the back for that. The second thing that. Yes. And the second thing I would like to circle back on is the fact that even though you had, like these challenges, like upstairs thinking, you know, English is my second language and everything else, you still pushed out a podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: How did you move beyond, that fear, maybe a little bit of self doubt, but how did you move beyond that to actually get the episode out? 

Grace Nasralla: I have a technique cliff that I trained myself and discipline myself to despite all the challenges just love myself, focus on my goals and keep moving. And I find that technique has helped me a lot succeed in what I do.

Cliff Duvernois: Nice. I love that. That’s great. Because a lot of the times I’ll tell you it’s so mindset has become very important to me, especially over the last year and a half and how we talk to ourselves and how we treat ourselves. You know is very important. Cause the, we would never think about like the things that we say to ourselves, we would never say that to another person out there.

Cliff Duvernois: Cause it’s just, it’s mean I don’t want to destroy them. I want to encourage them as entrepreneurs. We’re all about building people. Right. So, kudos to you for having that that level of self-awareness to say, you know what? I, I may not be perfect, but I’m going to, I’m going to keep moving forward.

Cliff Duvernois: That’s absolutely wonderful. Let’s talk about what is podcasting done for your business? 

Grace Nasralla: I definitely was able to showcase my expertise, the knowledge and that has been a strength for me and my business as well because when people, hear hear your your message. And look at it with regards then they will call you and give you business.

Cliff Duvernois: Okay. What has been one of your biggest successes when it comes to podcasting? 

Grace Nasralla: My big successes I find is that in a few years we got over 6,000 download. And that means within few years, I was able to reach over 6,000 entrepreneurs. I’m hoping that we reached them. We were able to reach them with, with a good message. That was a benefit for them because that’s my objective.

Grace Nasralla: That’s my aim.

Grace Nasralla: Another success is that in my podcast, I don’t just feature myself. I feature other entrepreneurs, right? So our podcast is a pool of entrepreneurial effort. It’s not just my podcast. There are other entrepreneurs that have, uh, contributed their podcasts, their. Yeah,

Cliff Duvernois: Okay. Cause that was going to be one of my questions. Cause I noticed that there’s been, other people that have gotten credit for certain episodes. So I was going to ask you if you had partners with that, is that just something that people in your network just submit a podcast episode to you?

Cliff Duvernois: You just say, Hey, it’s gotta be three to four minutes and 

Grace Nasralla: Yeah, that’s what happens. I asked them to choose a topic and to write content around that topic. And then I asked them to send it to me and I uploaded. Yes.

Cliff Duvernois: Wonderful. Beautiful. I love that. And that’s the first time out of all the interviews that I’ve done, where people have gone out and actively sought people to create content for the podcast. So that’s a really a great way to get your community involved. What gave you that idea to to chase that? 

Grace Nasralla: From my experience. You can’t succeed alone. It has to be a combined effort. And since I am working with a network of entrepreneurs I can’t just be self centered. It won’t work. I joined a combined effort. We all build each other. We, uh, we help each other grow and that’s what made us successful.

Cliff Duvernois: Wonderful. That’s absolutely. That’s great. Absolutely. Now you’ve had an opportunity now to get your podcast, get it produced, get it out there. Right. You’ve had some really great ideas along the way, like the micro podcasting, getting people in your audience to submit podcast episodes, which I just, man, I just think that’s absolutely brilliant for an entrepreneur out there who is maybe thinking about starting a podcast and they’re struggling.

Cliff Duvernois: What would be some piece of advice that you would say.

Grace Nasralla: I would say, don’t make it about yourself. Don’t make it about yourself. The more you allow others to contribute to your success, the more successful you get. And cliff, I heard your podcast about how you came up with entrepreneurs on podcast show, right?

Cliff Duvernois: right. 

Grace Nasralla: In your, while you were like in your podcasts, he was surprised that you got so, so much response, right? Entrepreneurs responding. However, the entrepreneurs that have agreed to go on your podcast are in fact contributing to the success of your podcast. To me. Yes, I am. When I go on your podcast, I am highlighting my myself, but at the same time, I am contributing to the success of your podcast.

Grace Nasralla: If you go about building your podcasts with that mindset, I think you will be successful. That’s my approach, least.

Cliff Duvernois: No, and I, and I think that’s really great cause that’s one of the things it’s interesting. So I’ve been, I’ve been taking this class online and one of the things that they talk about in there is about asking for help. And when you were just talking right there, it occurred to me that basically asking people for interviews, bringing them onto the podcast, having them share their expertise, kind of like in a way, is asking for help.

Cliff Duvernois: All right. Cause nobody is going to see the level of success that they want in their life, unless they can get other people around them to help them and support them in an exchange you’re actually going out and helping other people to be successful. Like your clients and your customers help them to be successful and you’ll be successful.

Cliff Duvernois: So I didn’t even think about it in terms of that way. I always think about podcasting in terms of a great networking tool, but you’re right. You know, when I reach out to people and say, Hey, this is my topic. I really want to help people. Could you help me to help them. And that’s why the response has been.

Cliff Duvernois: That’s why there’s what’s I feel in my heart of hearts has been overwhelming. Because there’s something, there’s something about the entrepreneurial community that we really like to help other entrepreneurs. We’re so quick to share our knowledge, our strengths, we get brave enough. We write a book, start a podcast.

Cliff Duvernois: And tint, uh, to be able to really be able to serve our community. So that right there is absolutely beautiful. I love that. I’ve never thought about interviews that way before, but you are right. It really is about asking for help.

Grace Nasralla: Since I started my virtual network my approach was it has to be a win-win if it’s not a win-win then it’s not going to be a win lose. Right. So everything I plan for other entrepreneurs, I plan it as win-win. I think about it as a test to be win-win

Cliff Duvernois: Okay. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: And you’re yeah. And I’ve had really great conversations. I always make it a point to, promote the interviewers when they come onto the podcast show, because I really do, from my standpoint, I really do want to make sure that I’m highlighting the good things that these entrepreneurs are doing and how they’re serving their clients.

Cliff Duvernois: And you never know how somebody is listening to this particular episode right now, hearing your message and saying, you know, I would love to check out a micro podcast because I have a bandwidth of about four minutes, you know, to be able to do that. So you never know who you’re going to reach. You never know who is listening.

Cliff Duvernois: So 

Grace Nasralla: And I also, I mean, if you allow me, I would like to extend an invite to for entrepreneurs. If they have a good topic and they, they want to contribute four minutes podcasts have them contact me.

Cliff Duvernois: Oh, wonderful. That’s, that’s great. Very generous of you. And we’ll make sure for, you know, our audience, we will, uh, we’ll have a link is there a form or something online that people have to fill out or they just email you? Or how does that work? 

Grace Nasralla: They can connect with me through social media and, uh, yeah. And we’ll make it work. Yeah. Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois: Love it. For our audience we’ll make sure to have those links in the show notes down below do contribute because it really is a good podcast. There’s a lot of great knowledge on that particular podcast. So if you’re wanting to get your story out and be able to help and have an impact on the community that’s a great place to, it’s a great place to make that happen.

Cliff Duvernois: So you kind of stole my last question from me, which is how can people reach you online so that. 

Grace Nasralla: I am. I am on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on other social media networks. But I would like to invite listeners to visit my [email protected] and connect with me through the blog. That’s a good platform to connect with me.

Cliff Duvernois: And we’ll make sure to include that in the links in the show notes down below grace, it’s been awesome having you on the podcast today. Thank you for coming on here and you know, in sharing your story, I really appreciate it. We’ve covered some new topics for me anyways. I’ve learned a lot, so Thank you for that.

Grace Nasralla: Thank you for hosting me. I really appreciate, uh, the reach out. Definitely.