IAM1097- Coffee Blogger Specializes in Coffee, Food, and Travel

Podcast Interview with Yker Valerio

Yker Valerio is a coffee blogger writing to help coffee enthusiasts to enjoy all the coffee pleasures. After more than 10 years as a management consultant, Yker is a full-time content writer specializing in coffee, food, and travel.

  • CEO Hack: (i) I pray in the morning and before going to sleep (ii) Expressing gratitude
  • CEO Nugget: Give feedback in an accurate and honest manner
  • CEO Defined: Person who makes the hard list and the most crucial decision for a company



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[00:00:12.90] – Intro
Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gretsch values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:40.50] – Gresham Harkless
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ekar Valerio of Bon Vivance Coffee. Ekar, it's great to have you on the show.

[00:00:50.50] – Yker Valerio
Thank you for having me, Rich.

[00:00:52.60] – Gresham Harkless
Definitely super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Ekir so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Iker is a coffee blogger writer a coffee blogger writer writing to help coffee enthusiasts to enjoy all the coffee pleasures. After more than ten years as a management consultant, Eaker is a full time content writer specializing in coffee, food, and travel, and he's been featured on our CEO blog nation. Eaker, it's great to have you on. Are you ready to speak to the IMCL community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:17.59] – Yker Valerio
Yes. I'm ready. Thank you very much for the invite.

[00:01:20.20] – Gresham Harkless
Yeah. Absolutely. And so, to to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more on how you got started and what I call your CEO story.

[00:01:28.79] – Yker Valerio
Yeah. Well, my story isn't too linear, but I'll I'll keep it simple. I'm, a few years ago, I asked myself about, my top strengths and how I can use them for good. So, for years, I have this feedback from my significant others, like, business partners and and my supervisors that they said, over and over again that my research and writing, abilities were my top positive qualities. So I I focused, on those two and and figure out which kind of business I could start doing, research and writing, that wasn't a PhD career, obviously, but something that I couldn't enjoy as well. So I I started to reflect about it because I was getting tired of my role as a management consultant. I I really started strong ten years ago when when I, was a lot younger. But, recently, I just I just felt that I need a change. So I'm grateful for for my management consulting career. It it helped me, to grow a lot, to develop problem solving, communication, project management skills. I I mean, this is a very useful skill set for any entrepreneur or for anyone way living life. So I I think I owe a lot to my previous career. So after I had years of dealing with these challenging projects and deadlines and annoying the all these amazing people, I I stepped back and and figured out that I wanted to start a career. So I started taking, freelancing, gigs, like side gigs as a writer and as a player because I'm an native Spanish speaker. So I started to to get, additional income doing this kind of freelancing work, but, eventually, I started to enjoy it, quite quite a lot. So I decided to to go fully independent and and work on it. So I started my blog, Bombivant, precisely to prove myself and to to experiment with with content creation, with SEO techniques, with affiliate marketing, and everything related with the monetization of content creation. So that's, basically my story. My blog started as a as a business. Like, I wanted to be, my main source of income. It has been growing and is promising all the work I have been doing with Bombi Van, but it has allowed me to to have a a couple of interesting contracts. I have freelancer as well because it it displays my work, both in in English and in Spanish. So I have found interesting contracts with with Pongdiban as well. It's not only, like, a project to to monetize on itself. So I I find that very interesting for me. And, well, for all the people that is actually at this moment, taking freelance, career or starting their freelancing careers. And I think that online disability has been a major major advantage from that perspective.

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[00:05:01.30] – Gresham Harkless
Absolutely. And, of course, doing it as well too. And and so I know you touched a little bit upon, like, what you're doing at, you know, the the blog and the site that you have and all the the services that you provide. Could you tell us a little bit more about that and how you're serving your clients and how that process looks?

[00:05:14.69] – Yker Valerio
Yes. Yes, sir. Well, my my blog is, is about coffee, and it's, serving a a wider community of people that like coffee but isn't that much into it yet. I I feel that my blog is is a bridge to to get together the people that can can experiment with regular coffee, and is interested in exploring new different things or or learn more about coffee. But it isn't yet at the level of of reading complex, and snobby articles because the content available about coffee right now online and everywhere, or is it too simple, like, you know, funny memes about coffee, or is, something extremely technical about varietals and terroirs and all those fancy words around that that can get intimidated anyone, actually. I mean, the first when I started, researching about coffee six years ago, it was scary to to enter the world. You know, it can be really technical. And some some part of the community is really friendly. I have learned something that is a true experts are really kind and generous with with the things they know, but some other people can be really snobby and and be a bit harsh. So what I'm trying to to do with my blog and with my content is to be, like, a friendly option, an opportunity to everyone that is curious enough to find a bit more about coffee. And doing that, I have been, showing which are my precisely my research and my writing abilities, both in English and in Spanish, so I can, create stronger relationships, not only inside the the coffee community, but with other content creators and with other people that might be interested in my, writing services. So, basically, that's, that's my business about it right now.

[00:07:29.50] – Gresham Harkless
What would you consider to be what I like to call your secret sauce? And this could be for yourself or the business or a combination of both, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and make makes

[00:07:37.50] – Yker Valerio
you unique? Yeah. Well, it's strongly related with with my my personal strengths, which I I want to transmit or to to to brew for using a metaphor from coffee into my my work and my business is about the quality and the originality of my content. Is it I I pay a lot of attention to that. I I don't like to to feel like I'm I am imitating something. Sometimes I develop another people ideas. Many times, I do that, but I take great interest into finding interesting topics for my readers to ask many questions. Sometimes when I ask questions, I get harsh answers. But most of the time, with really world class experts, I I felt I feel it was very impressive. I was I don't know how to say it, but I I was surprised in a in a very positive way. When I started Bondi Van, I started to to dare to ask people that is on the front line of of coffee, like, real world class experts. I found their emails, and I started, to ask questions to them. And they answered. I mean, I I didn't took me, like, weeks or or making follow ups over and over again. I'm talking about people that is really busy, that is sitting on the Specialty Coffee Association board, that is leading world of coffee research, that are senior researchers around the world, and and they're they have this, amazing work available. But, obviously, it's very technical, not because they want to be snowy, but because they they are working in academia. So they use chemical, technical words. They use scientific methods. So their their writing the written content isn't appealing at all for anyone. So because they're churning this in an academic, public, and they have their standards. So I started to reach them, and I have this this feedback from them. I started to create relationships with with experts with true experts. And and I feel that's part of my secret sauce, how you say, is to actually find, a dig deeper than than the search as as SEO people say. I don't get, just with the with what appears on the top ten in the Google query results. I go after answers from people that actually know what they're talking about and try to challenge, the myths and the and the prejudice about, coffee and everything I work with. Not only with coffee, but with any content I work, I try to go a bit further than than the regular. So I would say that that's my secret sauce. And that's secret sauce for for Bondi brand because we try to be entertaining. We try to be, easy to understand, but we want to go, beyond the the common misunderstandings and and myths around, coffee and the community.

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[00:11:00.89] – Gresham Harkless
Absolutely appreciate that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:13.00] – Yker Valerio
There there are a couple of very important things in my life. Well, I think for everyone, but in my case, is it it might sound a bit strange, but I think that spirituality and and art, which are not very, business related, but they are my my most powerful ways to to reconnect, with my strongest self is, like, is the the the faster way I have and the most effective, actually, to to boost my energy and to boost my motivation is to actually be more spiritual and and appreciate the beauty, around me. So, to be more specific, I do every day. I I pray in the morning and before going to sleep. And every time I pray, I I I show gratitude, and I try to express my gratitude for all the good things and all for all the

[00:12:18.29] – Gresham Harkless
Truly appreciate that. And I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell, a client or something if you were to tell yourself if you were to hop into a time machine.

[00:12:31.20] – Yker Valerio
Yeah. Well, for sure, I I think that after my experience and the way I started my business, I think feedback is so valuable that it's important to learn how to give feedback. So, my my nougat is to give feedback the way Ernest Hemingway wrote his stories, to be descriptive, to be accurate, to be honest with feedback because, that's the the best way to to help people to find, a a way to improve. So I think that's that's my knowledge for that matter.

[00:13:10.10] – Gresham Harkless
Nice. Yeah. I definitely appreciate that, and it's so important to kinda, you know, recognize those things and be able to kinda lean into them as much as possible. So truly appreciate that nugget. And now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're open now different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. Show. So, Iker, what does being a CEO mean to you?

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[00:13:28.20] – Yker Valerio
Yeah. Well, for sure, I have, told me about this, and I think a CEO is the person who makes the hardest and the most crucial decisions for a company. And and there is no way to to work from it. I think that, if, I mean, if in a company, someone else is taking the the hard choices, then the the CEO is not rightfully taking the the chance that he should or she should be taking. I think it's most of the time, it's about the decisions and the ones that are necessarily nice, or those that aren't, like, how's the the largest payback in in a good or in a negative way, both are in the CEO's hands.

[00:14:24.20] – Gresham Harkless
Yeah. I I love that definition, and I love that you talked about sometimes making those hard decisions because I think a lot of times, it's the decisions that will kinda make or break an organization or a business. And I think that sometimes they're not always crystal clear about, you know, going right or left. Sometimes it's not, you know, completely, known what you can see and what will happen, but you have to kinda make those tough those tough decisions because you are charting the path for the business, the organization. And a lot of times, the people that are affected where you're talking about clients or team members, by that organization. So I love that, definition.

[00:14:55.70] – Yker Valerio
Well, thank you very much.

[00:14:57.79] – Gresham Harkless
Absolutely. Well, I appreciate that, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about the the blog and all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:12.60] – Yker Valerio
Oh, for sure. I I I will be more than happy to have you around my blog or any of the of my social media. I think it's going to be in the notes available. I know that the name of my blog isn't that easy to pronounce in English. So you can read it below, and, hopefully, I'll be more than happy to have you there.

[00:15:35.10] – Gresham Harkless
Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Igor. Just like, you know, you said, we'll have the links and information in the show notes just to make it even easier so that they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're doing. But I appreciate you for for bridging, you know, that gap and helping people to understand, you know, about coffee and all the awesome things. And I think that a lot of times when we drill down on the kind of experience and the gifts that we have, we teach so many other, so many different things. So I also love learning about how you've been able to kinda take that content writing and be able to kinda create connections and even, you know, other, you know, forms of content in so many ways. So thank you so much for taking some time out, of course, contributing on our site before, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:12 – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


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