Sisterhood – Boral Agency

Patricia and Brenda Boral - An Agency Story
On this episode of An Agency Story we have Patricia and Brenda Boral with Boral Agency in Houston, Texas.  They are full service marketing firm primarily focused on the construction industry. From the untimely death of their mother while they were growing up in Bolivia to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, these two are no strangers to adversity.  You'll absolutely love their positive and ambitious attitude as well as their electric energy.

Company: Boral Agency

Owners: Patricia Boral and Brenda Boral 

Year Started: 2011

Employees: 1 – 10

In the latest episode of “An Agency Story” titled “Sisterhood”, listeners are treated to the compelling narrative of Patricia and Brenda Boral, the powerhouse siblings behind Boral Agency. Based out of Houston, TX, this episode ventures into their extraordinary journey of resilience, determination, and success in the competitive world of marketing agencies.

The episode quickly dives into the main themes of overcoming adversity, the importance of education in marketing strategy, and the dynamic synergy of a family-run business. Their unique insights on running a full-service marketing agency for industries like construction, manufacturing, and B2B, are both enlightening and inspirational.

Patricia and Brenda share humorous anecdotes from their early days at a marketing conference, showcasing their tenacity and clever problem-solving skills. Their story of carrying suitcases full of catalogs to save on shipping, while humorous, also underlines their dedication and hard work.

The episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, from the tragic loss of their mother to their triumphant business achievements. Listeners will be particularly moved by the sisters’ ability to turn challenges into opportunities, as evidenced by their strategic pivot following Hurricane Harvey, which not only saved their business but also prepared them for the uncertainties of the pandemic.

The episode leaves audiences pondering the resilience of human spirit and the power of family bonds in the face of adversity. This story is not just about the success of Boral Agency but also a testament to the strength, creativity, and enduring sisterhood of Patricia and Brenda Boral. Their journey invites listeners to reflect on their own paths and consider the values of perseverance, adaptability, and the importance of family in business and life.


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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world, from the excitement of starting up, the first big sale. Passion, doubt, fear, freedom, and the emotional rollercoaster of growth. Hear it all on An Agency Story podcast. An Agency Story podcast is hosted by Russel Dubree, successful agency owner with an eight figure exit turned business coach.

[00:00:33] Enjoy the next agency story.

[00:00:38] Russel: Hello everyone. I’m your host Russel. Welcome to another episode of An Agency Story. Today’s guests on the show are Patricia and Brenda Boral with Boral Agency based out of Houston, TX. A dynamic and energetic duo to say the least. Born and raised in Bolivia, the brow sisters have a fascinating story of resilience and determination.

[00:00:57] Their bond of sisterhood was first tested at [00:01:00] a young age with the death of their mother. They’ve only strengthened their relationship over the years with their eventual immigration to the United States and starting in running a very successful agency. You’re definitely gonna love their energy and catch some great insights along the way.

[00:01:13] Enjoy the story.

[00:01:18] Welcome everyone to the show today. Very excited to have dynamic duo with us here today. I have Brenda and Patricia Boral with the Boral Agency. Hello ladies, welcome to the show.

[00:01:29] Brenda: Thank you. Hello. Thank you for having us.

[00:01:32] Russel: I am so glad you guys were able to join for today. A question I ask everybody, give us an overview of Boral Agency.

[00:01:38] What do you guys do and who do you do it for?

[00:01:41] Brenda: So we are a full service marketing agency for the construction, manufacturing, engineering, and, B2B industries. We’ve been focusing on those industries for 11 years and recently, last year we started with education in tech [00:02:00] too. Something that make us different is that we base our marketing strategy in educating our clients. We love education and that’s the foundation of our agency.

[00:02:12] Russel: When you say full service, what does all that include? That can certainly mean a lot of things in our space.

[00:02:16] Brenda: Full service means web development, UX design, video marketing, email marketing, social media, seo, social media management, content management.

[00:02:29] Patricia: Literally everything. So we become a partner for our clients and everything starts with a marketing assessment. That’s the first thing. Because even if they come to us for, “Hey, I just need a website.”

[00:02:41] After the marketing assessment, sometimes we tell them, Listen, we’re gonna implement this strategy so we can get the low hanging fruit first. We can get you to that next level. And once we reach there, then we can start thinking about creating new assets such as your website. So as a full service marketing agency, we’re able [00:03:00] to tie everything with a strategy for our clients.

[00:03:03] And during that assessment we talk real numbers, right? Where do you wanna get your company? How do you see your company in the next five years, three years? How aggressive do you want to be with the in the market?

[00:03:18] Russel: Doesn’t sound like you started your career in the agency world or with your own agency.

[00:03:22] Tell me what you guys were doing before agency life.

[00:03:26] Brenda: My background is in business. I have a Bachelor in Business Administration, and I have a Master’s in marketing In my first job was at the university. Since it was like a type of a scholarship in where you work and when you work, you pay for your tuition.

[00:03:44] So I start working in, the HR department, the accounting, back to HR, and then I went to the marketing department. And I got in love with it. And I decided to [00:04:00] stay there. They saw that I was very good at it, and after I finished my degree, they offered me a job.

[00:04:05] And that’s when I was doing Assistant Director of marketing at the post-graduate level. I was in charge of the MBAs.

[00:04:14] Patricia: I think you mention that you were 21, 22 at that time.

[00:04:20] Brenda: Yes. 21, 22. I was one of the youngest. And I was already a director, almost an assistant director. I had 15 people under my, my My be, I guess under my, I was under my leadership.

[00:04:33] Russel: You were gonna say belt weren’t you?

[00:04:35] Brenda: In management? And it was tough because I was very young and I had 30 something in my team and my graphic designer was like 28. And it was tough, but I I enjoyed it. And then it was an opportunity to come to history in 2005. And you know what, in 2005, marketing was a completely different here in the [00:05:00] States.

[00:05:00] When I applied all the marketing coordinator positions, because I knew I would have to come here and start over all the positions. When it says marketing coordinator were actually inside sales in literally inside sales people that I had to knock doors or do cold calling and that, and I was like, That’s not marketing. I ended up working at risk management firm. For import and export for logistics. I was working there before I decided to start my own.

[00:05:32] Russel: What about you, Patricia?

[00:05:35] Patricia: Okay, so Brenda was morphed into it when she started college. I started my experience a little bit earlier when I was 12, 13 years old cuz as my mom passed away.

[00:05:49] Our mom passed away. So we had to run our mom’s business to pretty much stay afloat cuz our father was really never in the picture. So while Brenda [00:06:00] was in school, she will give me directions and I will basically run the front like in the back. Really. So I will make sure that our house was running and the business was running as well.

[00:06:13] Russel: What was the business?

[00:06:14] Patricia: My mom had an after school program, so like a tutoring business. In Bolivia, kids either go in the morning or in the afternoon to school. So the other time they will come to our tutoring institute. So I started taking classes in accounting, in taxes. I even took an HR class at the institute, so I was. The 14 year old taking those classes and I soon realized that I didn’t like any of those . I literally hated taxes, which, a lot of people will understand why. However, I realized that our business will, we were losing business every year, every month.

[00:06:52] So that’s how I realized, okay, every business without marketing doesn’t survive. You can have great finances, you can have great [00:07:00] systems in place, but if you don’t have a good lead generation and a good sales in place, your business is gonna die. Which is what happened with our tutoring business.

[00:07:09] By the time I reached 17 when it was time for me to go to college and all that, we end up closing the business because it was no longer profitable and we were losing left and right. Now at the same time, I have a lot of inclination in the arts and I’m very creative and I used to paint things and even sell it back then.

[00:07:31] So that’s why I chose marketing because it’s a merge of business and creativity. So I went in straight cuz I already knew I needed marketing. I actually started in Bolivia. I did one semester to compare university cuz Brenda recommended compare universities cuz I wanted to move to New York right away.

[00:07:51] And in college, they told me that I needed to take a lot of basic. . And I did one year and it was such a waste of my time how I felt it, because back in Bolivia [00:08:00] I was already taking introduction to economics, a statistic, microeconomics.

[00:08:04] I’m like, I’m already doing business. And here I’m taking history and like stuff that I really didn’t need at all. So after the year I was, I just decided, you know what, I’m gonna go back to Bolivia, finish my degree at the private university, and then come back here and get a master’s in the US right?

[00:08:23] Back in Bolivia, I also started a branding company while I was in school. So my mom’s best friend helped us a lot when we were going through what we went through when we were kids. And I just approached her and she was really good at operations doing promotional like shirts and overalls and all of those things.

[00:08:46] So I approached her and I was like, Okay, Tia , you run operations. I’ll do the marketing and admin. I’ll run the company. Okay. And that’s how we started. And I’m very proud to say that company’s still running [00:09:00] until today and put all her kids through college, all of that. Even my uncle quit his job and joined the company as well.

[00:09:09] And then I moved to Houston because all my family was already here. Brenda moved, my other siblings moved. So I was like, Okay, I guess I’ll move to Houston . So I moved back in 2008. And I knew I was gonna start a business. I just didn’t know exactly what I was going to do.

[00:09:27] I started doing more research about the branding industry here, and I realized, oh my God. Everything is so easy here to start a business, to start being a distributor of branded products. So I went to my siblings and I was like, Hey guys, I’m quitting my job and I’m starting this business.

[00:09:45] I’m like, Who’s in? So guess who said yes?

[00:09:49] Russel: So thank you for sharing that. What a, what an amazing story already so far and we’re barely into it. So Brenda, if I remember correctly, you started an agency with someone else [00:10:00] and that sounds like that didn’t work out.

[00:10:02] Talk a little bit about that and, how’d you guys get started?

[00:10:05] Brenda: I was working at the risk management firm. I really wanted it to create my own. And I met in one at the time I was I don’t remember how I met this other girl.

[00:10:17] I believe it was a group of moms or something like that. I was just having my baby and I joined this mom’s group. But she was from Bolivia, and we click instantly and say, Oh my gosh, we have so much in common. But I barely met her and she barely met me, and I don’t know why.

[00:10:35] Sometimes those things work, but sometimes it doesn’t. Like within a month of getting to know each other, we were like, Oh, we should create a business. Yes. My background is in marketing. Oh, my background is in finance.

[00:10:47] Let’s create it. Perfect. So the idea was there was two things that they were wrong. Number one, the background of my partner. And two, the topic or the [00:11:00] idea we had with the business. We wanted to do marketing and events.

[00:11:03] But, hold on. It was 2008 or 2007 and we wanted to do a green. Everything green. If you want the napkins and napkins are gonna be sustainable and reusable. Okay. The straws are gonna be made of paper here. In Houston, Texas. Nobody gave us business because one, they were more expensive.

[00:11:23] To have those type of products.

[00:11:24] Russel: Too early. Too early for the movement.

[00:11:26] Brenda: Too early. Nobody wanted to be an environment. No, they were not. Now it’s more important, but back then no environment went, Not. No, it’s too expensive. So we had it to do some events in where, okay, we are not gonna use recycled things, and then it didn’t feel right. Then we got it to have some how can I say it? Some tension, With her background being in finance and me wanted it to do marketing for the company, Hey, we need to promote this, We need to do to this event. And she’s No, we don’t wanna spend money, but [00:12:00] how we’re gonna do it if we’re not gonna promote it ourselves.

[00:12:02] I wanna be part of this organization. Let’s go, let’s pay for the launch. And he’s No, it’s too much. Okay. So I was not happy. So I decided to say, You know what, we are not a good match. We don’t, Our personalities are not very similar.

[00:12:18] Patricia: She was a CPA. The biggest issue was that on their budget, she didn’t wanna put a budget for marketing, even though they were a market company.

[00:12:26] Brenda: Budgets didn’t wanna spend. She said, No, let’s do everything free. We have, back then, we still had the Yellow Pages. Okay. The Yellow Pages online. So let’s do everything on the yellow pages online and every, and like, I don’t think Facebook was still there.

[00:12:40] Russel: There’s an unspoken rule, there’s an unspoken rule in business and hide your ears, CPA friends I have out there, but that you don’t let a CPA run your business or an accountant run your business.

[00:12:49] Brenda: So she was very number to that. She was very hard. Oh my. Yes. Yes.

[00:12:55] Russel: So were you jealous that your sister started a business with someone else, Patricia?

[00:12:58] Patricia: I was super mad at her. No. [00:13:00] I’m kidding. ? No, actually she was working at I was working at Rosa Supply when she started it, and I actually helped her at a few of the events and then when she was splitting up, And I came to everybody, Hey, I have this idea.

[00:13:15] And then I heard crickets, and then she was bleeding from the partner and I was like, Hey, you end up going into business with, a stranger and you’re saying no to start a business with me. So I guess I was a little bit jealous cuz I had to convince her a little bit. But I, her biggest fear was like, Hey, this didn’t work out with this friend and now we’re not friends anymore.

[00:13:36] And basically it ruined the whole friendship. And they split up, literally was a, It was like an ugly divorce. , right? Yeah. So she was afraid of that. So I was like, Okay. So we end up actually, which it was good if you think about it, cuz we end up going to a Starbucks to sit down and work on an operating agreement.

[00:13:55] So if you have a family business, work on an operating agreement. [00:14:00] So you know exactly what are you gonna be in charge of, What I’m gonna be the person’s gonna be in charge of, and then what are gonna be the general rules and what happens when you don’t reach agreement and all of those things.

[00:14:13] We had a long meeting where we even discuss time off, vacation schedule.

[00:14:19] Brenda: Everything. Yes. So yes, that’s so true that it actually helped. I think it was a a miracle in disguise, I don’t know if that’s a saying, something like that, because it makes me realize that, hey, I don’t wanna lose a relationship with you, Patricia, at all.

[00:14:36] I’m so afraid of that. So if we are gonna do this, we’re gonna put things in writing. Because one of the fights that I had with this old business partner was things like, Oh, hey, I wanna take a vacation. And she was like, Oh, I wanna take a vacation too. So we were like, even with, hey, vacations, how many vacations are we gonna take? And who’s gonna take our first vacation? And what it’s gonna be, Are we gonna pay ourselves? Are we not gonna pay [00:15:00] ourselves? Is there gonna be employees of the company or not?

[00:15:03] So it makes me realize all the questions that I need to answer in order to go to business with somebody.

[00:15:09] Patricia: I was coming from a successful business relationship, right? Cause my, my aunt, she’s a very straightforward person, right?

[00:15:16] And I’m like the same way. So we were able to leave, like set limits in our partnership right away. You’re gonna be in charge of this. But we never really sat down to write it. But we were both very like that, so it worked out well. And again, that business still running since 2006.

[00:15:35] So very cool. we talked about starting hours with Brenda, I was like more confident that no, there’s no reason why this will not work out. We can separate business and family. I was a little bit more optimistic about it because I had a different experience than hers.

[00:15:51] Russel: I can totally see that. And to all the people out there in partnerships that are listening. Hopefully they’re listening to this very closely and laying it out there on the table. Actually [00:16:00] similar to you, I started the business with my brother-in-law and I think we should have probably done something similar, but we did not. We all worked out fine in the end as well.

[00:16:07] In hearing your stories, you started out, it wasn’t like running gun, a hundred miles an hour. You started out a little slow actually, and before you really moved into it full time. Was that because of a lifestyle choice? Was it more risk mitigation? Tell us your thought process there.

[00:16:22] Patricia: I think it was more of a lifestyle thing because Brenda just had a baby, my nephew, my first nephew, so she was going through that, like the whole becoming a mom and we don’t have a mom, so it was a little bit more difficult because you don’t have the support. And in my case, I got a job offer literally when I started, when we started Boral Agency.

[00:16:45] Six months later HP called me and offered me a contract position. And I was like, It’s a global company. My dream. Of course I’m gonna say yes. I worked there for the first two years of the company, which allow us to. Learn and [00:17:00] ease into it and not be too desperate about earning money right away, but instead making more thoughtful decisions.

[00:17:09] Brenda: And it actually was a great time for make mistakes and change services and find good partners and teams. To have a graphic designer to hire somebody, took us four people to find a right person. We learned that during those two years, it takes time to form the team that you want.

[00:17:33] So we had things like that. I was able to do part-time, be a mom part-time, the part-time, work. And it was time where we were growing very good. And we will have to meet at 7:00 PM at night and work until 11 in the office every day for a year or two.

[00:17:53] We did that as well too. So even though it was a lifestyle change, we did put the hours. [00:18:00] We did put the hours for sure.

[00:18:02] Russel: I could see that. Don’t have the pressure of that’s your only source of income and you’ve gotta, support mouths to feed, so to speak.

[00:18:07] And learning all those mistakes in a less risky environment. I can see where that certainly helps you guys out.

[00:18:12] Patricia: And I believe that’s extremely important for anybody that’s starting a business because it allows you to pivot very easily.

[00:18:21] When we started the agency we were looking for another marketing agency to do our website. To do our marketing, right? Cause we knew how much work it was. And we couldn’t find an agency that could work with a small business. So we started seeing the need in the market. So during those two years, we also pivoted our business completely, instead of branding, and we were even called Boral Branders.

[00:18:48] We switched to Boral Agency. That’s when we realized, no, there’s a need for a small business owners to receive, like marketing services, digital marketing services, [00:19:00] SEO, design. There’s a need. So we just pivoted completely and we started offering those services instead of the branding services. Because that also, like it lost.

[00:19:11] I guess sexiness of it. Cause there was really no challenge, right? Because back in Bolivia we had to actually do this stuff from scratch. We needed backpacks, we’re doing them from scratch. Here you’re just a distributor, so it’s, you’re basically just a salesperson. So kinda lost that, that personal touch.

[00:19:30] And at the end of the day, we are in the people’s business, right? We wanna be able to help businesses, business owners.

[00:19:38] Russel: So true, amen to that. Obviously at some point you moved into full time. What was the decision like to do that. Tell us about that transition.

[00:19:46] Patricia: For me it was because HP offered me a, a W2 job and I was like, No, this was fun.

[00:19:51] Bye . I wanna do my business. right? It was kinda, yeah, I wanted to do it and I did it for two years. Like to check it off my [00:20:00] bucket list, if you wanna put it like that. But I really believed in what we are building with Boral Agency.

[00:20:06] Russel: Leap of faith. I like it. What about you, Brenda?

[00:20:09] Brenda: For me it was more family.

[00:20:11] My then first child was five at a time and he was recently diagnosed with high functioning autism. And he needed a special school, which is a $40,000 a year school. So I’m like, Okay, I need to work hard because we need to pay for this school for him. So we decided to do full time. The kids were bigger and I was able to put ’em in daycare, full time at school, or for my son, a special school in a dedicated full time and full speed to Boral Agency, and that was 2015.

[00:20:49] Russel: Obviously full-time is a big transition. Has it been all up and to the right as far as success goes? Or has there been a rocky path in your journey? How has that looked for you guys?

[00:20:58] Patricia: It’s been more like a [00:21:00] rollercoaster, right?

[00:21:01] Brenda: Rollercoaster, I will say to the first year, like everything, it was hard to get used to the new schedule. In my case, it was hard with organization. Okay. I have, When do I have to stop working? Oh, I forgot. I had to go pick up the kids. Oh, The kid. The school, the dinner isn’t not ready. Oh, groceries.

[00:21:21] I forget about groceries.. So all of those things organized myself. The first years was completely like a really mess, I will say. And then all, I spent too much, too many hours working and then feeling the guilt. Oh, I was working so hard this week. I didn’t see the kids, I didn’t spend too much time with the family.

[00:21:41] I look for help. I remember we hire a business coach and makes sense and the business coach help us with organization and we are putting things in a schedule. And now my calendar is my best friend. Everything is in there, personal business, and I handle one calendar.

[00:21:58] Patricia: I really didn’t have much of that [00:22:00] struggle, to be honest. When I stopped working at HP and I was working full time, for me it was great, right? I loved it. But definitely we realized, you know what?

[00:22:10] We need help. And that’s when we chose to hire a business coach. And when we started with the business coach, we literally double our business the first year after our business coach. It was the results were we could see the difference, right? But then on the personal side, I went through a divorce cuz I was married back then.

[00:22:30] And going through that, a lot of people don’t think that is going to affect you. But you have to remember that you are a human being, right? And you have to like if you have to deal with somebody that you know is not cooperating or whatever, then you have, you, you can’t bring that. So you have to give yourself some time from business.

[00:22:49] And I wasn’t. Giving me that time. So it was a really overwhelming year back then. But then after that, honestly it’s been amazing. Working with the [00:23:00] business coach was really great. We set up all systems and processes that really not only helped us become successful, but also they help us separate ourself.

[00:23:12] Now that doesn’t mean that on the personal side, okay, you have your own struggles, but then outside your business there are things that are going to happen that are going to make you stumble or pivot again.

[00:23:24] And that’s happened to us with Harvey. When the Hurricane Harvey happened, we literally lost 50% of our small business clients that the hurricane really wipe them out, like their store for everything. Even though they had a contract, like you can’t go and charge for something that, Hey, I don’t have a business anymore, right?

[00:23:46] Yeah. What am I going to market for them? So that made us realize, this is not a sustainable business. Hurricanes, come all the time here in Houston, right? So if something else happened that [00:24:00] made us put a risk mitigation plan in place, but also change our entire business model.

[00:24:06] Russel: That’s a huge, unexpected event. How did you recover from that? What was that time period like?

[00:24:12] Patricia: That’s why I’m saying a roller coaster, because I was single. Divorce against back then, so my income was only from me. So in that case, we lost 50%.

[00:24:22] We didn’t wanna fire our employees, so we kept our entire staff and we stopped paying ourself. So as the business owners, we sacrificed for almost five months while we were pivoting the company saying no to small, tiny micropreneurs. Targeting larger accounts so we can have a more stable business.

[00:24:44] That was really tough and I remembered, okay, in the meantime, I have to apply for a job. Literally I applied to three jobs. I never went to an interview because I will apply, cry for a little bit and then no, this needs to work. And I will just [00:25:00] work on this strategy again. And I don’t regret it.

[00:25:03] My goodness, in 2020. We were ready for the pandemic. Our business didn’t suffer, our employees didn’t suffer. We end up actually hiring someone and we increase our business 20%, which was really tough. And that was because we were ready, we learned our lesson, right?

[00:25:19] So there’s a lot of pains that you’re gonna have as a business owner, but I think it’s worth it. if you have the vision.

[00:25:26] Russel: Just such a great story of perseverance you guys have from, at such a young age, losing your mother. It’s, but at the same time, you’ve done so many resilient things and what is a relatively short amount of time in a business.

[00:25:37] So that’s a really awesome part of your story.

[00:25:38] Brenda: Yeah. And something that I want to share is that you never know what you’re preparing for, like when that happened with Harvey happened, we thought that was the worst thing that had happened in our business. Oh my gosh.

[00:25:53] We lost 50% of our clients. Our office was flooded. We were not able [00:26:00] to access our office for I, I believe, eight weeks, and then for 12 weeks, the elevators didn’t work for about two, three months. And we thought, Oh my gosh. This is the worst that can happen, but we need to learn from it and change our business model, like Patricia was saying.

[00:26:15] But we didn’t know what we were preparing for. When the pandemic hit, we knew exactly what, how to do it and how to run the business remotely, and how to have the business model that we set up for Harvey, thinking that was the worst that happened.

[00:26:31] Russel: It sounds like you’ve had a lot of success leveraging your position as a minority and woman owned business.

[00:26:36] Has that been a successful component in your business, and how are you been able to maximize that?

[00:26:40] Brenda: We learned that, hey, you should be certified. This is minority certified. It’s a woman own business. And we were like, What is that? What is that? So we start doing the certification, doing some research, and thanks to that being a certified woman own business.

[00:26:54] We got an opportunity to work with the NFL Business Connect [00:27:00] during Super Bowl. So we were able to train all the business owners that they were doing business with NFL during the Super Bowl. They didn’t know how to brand themselves. They didn’t know how to present their brand correctly for instructions.

[00:27:13] And hey, you’re working with the NFL. You’re gonna be a vendor of the NFL, an official vendor in NFL. This is what you have to do, this is how you have to present, et cetera. So it’s been beneficial for us that it give us that conversation. Like breaking the ice when you’re talking, big company.

[00:27:30] The way we’re minority own business, Big companies wants to do business in relationship with minorities. Especially now in this time and age.

[00:27:39] Russel: So you weren’t able to negotiate a Super Bowl commercial for yourselves during that time?

[00:27:44] Brenda: No. Almost. They were all taken.

[00:27:47] Patricia: Yes. Having a certification as a minority owner and women own opens doors for larger corporations and ,enterprises. And it allows you, submit your information in all of these platforms for for [00:28:00] example, we’ve worked with Kroger, Shell, Chevron, the University of Houston, Houston Community College. All of these larger companies and organizations that if you’re not in their system, if you’re not a certified vendor, you just don’t have access.

[00:28:16] So it definitely has a great impact for our business and I recommend. It is only adding value to your business. It’s not really expensive and they help you through the entire paperwork.

[00:28:31] Brenda: Every year you have to prepare all your documents and it’s very lengthy set of documents, but once you do it, you’re good. And it is worth it. It’s thoroughly worth it.

[00:28:42] Russel: Appreciate that tip.

[00:28:44] All right. The question I’ve been wanting to ask this whole time, you guys have been in business together for several years. What’s it like being in business with your sister? Real talk. Tell us how it’s affected your relationship, Good, bad, and ugly, both in business and at home.

[00:28:59] Brenda: You wanna [00:29:00] start, Patricia?

[00:29:02] Russel: Do we need a whole nother podcast for this question?

[00:29:03] Patricia: We have a daily therapy session, no I’m kidding. Honestly, I think being in business, it has helped us communicate better, right? Being able to say Okay, let’s have a, even a feelings meeting where when you said this I felt this way, or blah, blah, blah. Because, what happened is that when you’re in business and you’re working with a coworker or a partner, that is not related to

[00:29:28] you. Don’t really know. You only know that person in that kind of like phase, like the business phase. But we known each other since literally birth for me. So you know that person, since they’ve been kids and you know you have a different dynamic. So you don’t see that only one dimension.

[00:29:47] You see all of the dimensions. That’s how well we know each other. So when we are saying things, it can really extrapolate to so many other meanings, right? So sometimes that’s been, [00:30:00] honestly, communications, like on any relationship is the biggest issue. And we’ve been very successful at being able to one separate. For example, we had brunch.

[00:30:10] And sometimes as business owners, we’re excited about our business, right? We’re talking about whatever, like family topics and then we just Ah, let’s talk about Boral Agency. Five minutes, like just fine. Okay, five minutes like and we like set like sometimes even a timer and then it was like, okay, boom.

[00:30:27] It’s because we have an idea and we don’t want that idea to be missed or lost, so we just try to do it like that. But we are really good at not talking about business during family events.

[00:30:40] Brenda: But it took us a lot of accountability. I was the worst. I wanted to talk business every time I saw Patricia.

[00:30:47] But one thing that also I think help us a lot was to search help outside of ourselves, because sometimes I feel that [00:31:00] I wanna do the things the way I wanna do it, and Patricia wants to do the things she wants to do it. So then we present something with somebody completely unbiased and completely professional, and in this case was our business coach, and we were like, Why wanna do this idea?

[00:31:15] And Patricia, she wants to do this idea, but I think her idea is not, and he will like stop. Brenda, you’re good at this. You should be doing A, B, and C. Patricia, This, you should be doing D. So in. And he help us to, Oh, okay. You are right. I’m good at that. So being able to ask for help when we couldn’t not, be on the same page, help us a lot too. And it help us, like Patricia saying, we are constantly working in our communication, seeing how we can improve better and also knowing what we are better at. Patricia’s very well at organization, operations.

[00:31:50] Setting processes and systems. I like to go to networking events, talk about what agency all the time, talk about business, bringing people, [00:32:00] taking people to lunch. I’m very good at business development. I love it. I enjoy it. So I do that most of the time. 80% of my time is doing that in 20% in operation, and Patricia’s vice versa, 80% of the time in operation and 20% she sells.

[00:32:16] And it’s been, that formula’s been working very smoothly.

[00:32:20] Russel: That’s good to hear. Everybody’s got all their hair and no hair pulling or Yes. Or fighting anything like that.

[00:32:26] Patricia: But we had our day where we fight and we fight horrible, and we take a day and where we, you will not hear, we will not talk for a day or two.

[00:32:35] And after a day or two, it’s Hey, this is ameeting. And we’re very businesslike. We’re very businesslike. Just business done until it go away and then we’re back to ourselves.

[00:32:44] Russel: Love to hear it. Love to hear it. So the last question I end every show with and see how similar or dissimilar your answers are.

[00:32:53] Are entrepreneurs born or are they made?

[00:32:55] Patricia: That’s a very good question. That is a very good question. [00:33:00] I feel that both, quite honestly. There’s people that are born entrepreneurs. I feel that I was like a born entrepreneur because, when I was a kid, like I, I did all kinds of business. Like even when my, with my mom, like I would go outside my house and I would be like, the maid is here.

[00:33:19] And I had my little apron and my little, and I would go and sweep the floors and whatever and get paid. And that’s, I was always doing stuff. So I think some people are born, but I believe it’s it is something that can be taught and learned in your life.

[00:33:36] Brenda: Yeah. I agree a hundred percent. I see it because something that we, the, that we are gonna work with Boral Agencies that we wanna develop another branch of the agency where we’re gonna teach entrepreneurs or people that wanna be entrepreneur. Because I see it, I saw it with a friend.

[00:33:58] Okay. Four kids. [00:34:00] I seen it because I’m, I see her every week because we are part of a networking event together. She sells insurance. And she’s very good at it, but she worked for somebody and she doesn’t like the environment. The other girls, it’s so hard. She have four kids and I say, Hey, I’m gonna name her Nancy.

[00:34:22] Nancy, you can start your own business. Why? You don’t even start your own business. You can do it. You know how to sell. Oh no, I’m not that clever. Like you, you’re very clever. And it really broke my. She’s willing to be in a horrible environment. So she can sell insurance, which she loves selling insurance.

[00:34:42] And she’s No, I’m probably gonna find another insurance agency that can hire me. But no, I will not. I won’t. I’m not that clever. And it really broke my heart because it’s not about being clever, it’s about believing that you could do it. And I will stand here. Nancy’s not that difficult to just create an LLC or you [00:35:00] just go apply for a license.

[00:35:02] Or you can be a broker. You don’t need to invest that much money. She said I don’t know. Do you think so? I feel the hesitation. I know that deep inside she knows, but the fear, so that shows me that entrepreneurship can be made. But also people are born with those natural instincts of I was also selling candy to my friends trying to sell baking goods.

[00:35:28] And my kids, I have a 12 year old that makes soaps and sell. And that’s something that nobody have taught, believe it or not. I don’t have time. I have not taught him that. It was his own idea. So I believe both, you can be made and you can born with it.

[00:35:42] Russel: That’s a good note to wrap up on. I wish we had several more hours to hear so many more parts of your story.

[00:35:50] It’s been entertaining, it’s been informative.

[00:35:53] It’s been an absolute pleasure.

[00:35:55] But before we close off, if people wanna know more about Boral Agency, where [00:36:00] can they go?

[00:36:04] Brenda: That They can find us on Instagram at Boral Agency. LinkedIn. Brenda Bural, Patricia Bural and Facebook also Boral Agency. And if you forget Boral Agency, you can even Google Boral sisters. You’re gonna find us. So I know a lot of people call us like that. , they call us sisters are here.

[00:36:27] The sisters, Yes. Any social media platform, even on TikTok. Yes, TikTok. I’m, I sing.

[00:36:34] Russel: Come on, Brenda. You don’t, TikTok.

[00:36:35] Patricia: What is Brenda?

[00:36:38] Russel: Yeah. Absolute pleasure ladies. Thank you so much for being on the show. Very pleased and loved every minute of it.

[00:36:45] Brenda: Thank you for having us and the opportunities.

[00:36:51] Outro: We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world. [00:37:00] Are you interested in being a guest on the show? Send an email to An Agency Story is brought to you by Performance Faction.

[00:37:11] Performance Faction offers services to help agency owners grow their business to $5 million and more in revenue. To learn more, visit

[00:37:26] Brenda: Okay. You know that we started the company first with the idea to do promotional products because Patricia had a lot of experience. So we found out about ASI, the institute of advertising, that they do this huge conference. So the first time we went and we were like going and it was the first time that we went to the conference this way this,

[00:37:49] Patricia: and we didn’t have much money, so we were on a tight budget. So it was like, okay, this big effort to actually go to this conference so we can have access to all of these vendors [00:38:00] and get their out and make relationships. They make everything.

[00:38:03] Brenda: Yeah. Uhhuh, . Okay, , we go there and of course we didn’t prepare. We didn’t stop, we didn’t know what the, how big it was. So we went there and we see catalogs.

[00:38:15] They were start doing, giving catalogs to everybody, and free giveaways. And we were like, Oh my gosh. We can show this as an example in our office, but we didn’t bring things. Where are we gonna put it? Let’s go to a room and bring our luggages. So we came with our suitcase. We’ll open our big suitcase and put catalogs and put giveaways, , and we were so proud of ourself.

[00:38:43] Okay. Very proud.

[00:38:45] Patricia: Whole because we that, like that day, it was in Dallas Brenda? We had carry, like the small suitcases, the small luggages, right? The ones that you put carryon on the plane only because we drove.

[00:38:58] Brenda: So we will go to the [00:39:00] car, drop it, empty it, and then go again with the empty suitcase.

[00:39:06] Like we were on a mission, right? We would go one line and like almost attack the line, go to the car and see you get a lot of samples and a lot of catalogs. Okay? But here’s the funny thing, in one of our runs, because within we did it like three times, okay? In one of the runs, a guy see us very weird in the elevator and he’s Did you know they can mail you as many catalogs as you want?

[00:39:31] We were like, Yes, for free. Yes, they, I literally got a laugh, attack I laugh at. We were like ride in the elevator up and down because I couldn’t stop laughing. People would go in, What’s wrong with these people? We were just cracking.

[00:39:53] Russel: That’s too funny. Oh my God.

[00:39:57] Patricia: We drove to Houston with a car full [00:40:00] of catalogs.

[00:40:03] Russel: Is it like piled up in the back seat? Like in the windows? Just in your back windows full of catalog and everything.

[00:40:09] Brenda: Oh my God. We were our, we had, we were like, Oh, we already have our car full.

[00:40:16] Russel: I just love that on just so many different levels. Just the taking full advantage of the opportunity one way or another, no matter how silly it looked or whatever, like that you guys were gonna, you were just walking through there with your luggage full of catalogs.

[00:40:27] Oh, that’s awesome.