We had the good fortune of connecting with Ray Fuentes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ray, why did you pursue a creative career?
Truthfully, I’ve been a broker for business insurance for the past decade of my life. I’ve done nothing but sell liability and workers compensation to business owners throughout southern California. The only thing creative about me is playing the piano, and making personal videos to share with my network on Instagram. However, over the past few years I’ve worked diligently – studying, networking, and practicing in the emerging digital asset class. My hard work was validated after earning a seat in various social circles. Some of the social circles include the very YouTube Stars I’ve been following regularly for the past few years. The same YouTube Stars (Digital Asset Investor, Digital Perspectives, The BearableBull, etc.) that had inspired me on my very own pursuit for further education in the emerging digital asset class. With that being said, I saw an opportunity for me to develop my very own YouTube Channel, which I titled “Welcome To Salt Creek.”
Welcome To Salt Creek’s purpose is to inspire others to improve their personal and professional wellbeing. Welcome To Salt Creek is developed around the following core themes: my conversations with successful entrepreneurs, my family’s journey, how I practice holistic living, and cutting-edge financial products and services that I’ve used to successfully navigate my family’s transition into the digital age. I titled the show Welcome To Salt Creek because Salt Creek is a beach down the street from my home. A beach that I hold very dear to my heart. I’ve spent countless hours surfing, diving, and fishing with family and friends at Salt Creek. I watched my brother drop to one knee and ask his wife to spend the rest of her life with him. Salt Creek is my happy place where I go to think about life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a business professional with an entrepreneurial spirit that’s gotten to where I’m at today because of the following reasons:
-I’ve always been infatuated with entrepreneurship – ever since a child.
-I have a strong foundation shaped by my work ethics, network (parents, family, friends, mentors) and life lessons.
-I’m extremely hard on myself – there’s no one to blame but myself.
-I’m always in a constant pursuit for further education.
-I know I don’t know everything, and I’m resourceful when I don’t know something.
-I know how to delegate tasks and offset workloads fairly and efficiently.
-I value creativity in any form (music, art, math, science, etc)
-I have strong personal skills with a sound and genuine moral compass.
-I’m competitive, and I also have a drive to help others succeed.
-I’ve developed a skill to see macro trends in the market, and I’m adaptive to change.
-Last but certainly not least – I have the willingness to take chances.
Thanks to my mom and dad, I’ve had a particular mindset and code of ethics engrained in me ever since I was a child. They both encouraged me to earn my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, where I competed at a national level. On the weekends – if we weren’t traveling for a Tae Kwon Do tournaments, we were traveling for baseball tournaments. And if we weren’t traveling for tournaments at all, we were landscaping around my parents’ house. With that being said, now-a-day’s I personally feel inadequate when I’m not being productive (unless I’m spending quality time with my family, or playing video games).
If I could give my self the proverbial pat on the back, I’d do so in the name of how far I’ve come in my entrepreneurial journey. It’s been a colorful, very difficult, and humbling voyage. Honestly, one that’s cluttered mostly with failure and rejection. However, when looking back at all things through a different lens, if I didn’t experience (what I thought to be) such failures and rejections – then I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I’m at today.
I launched my first business “Rosa Packs” at the age of 21 while participating in my last semester at California State University, Fullerton’s Entrepreneurship Program. Rosa Packs was a philanthropic company that sold backpacks while donating profits towards providing youths in the foster system with field trips. I designed the backpacks, outsourced manufacturing to China (using Alibaba), and sold our backpacks at various distributors (i.e. Tilly’s) throughout the United States. Rosa Packs successfully sponsored over 200 youths with field trips, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough steam to take it to the next level. So, I swallowed my pride and shut down the business.
After shutting down Rosa Packs I secured my Property and Casualty License, where I dedicated the next 10 years of my life to the craft of selling liability and workers compensation insurance for businesses throughout Southern California. Blessed with an incredible father/mentor, I was able to develop a proud book of business before selling to private equity. I took my earnings from the sale and eliminated all of my debt – immediately. With the remaining balance I began testing various investment vehicles (traditional and non-traditional) using small amounts of capital to diversify and reduce volatility. My passion for Private Investing was unknowingly born.
I began diversifying more capital into various investment vehicles at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I invested in equities, commodities, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, etc. After all of the research and practicing in the field, I became familiar with empowering and cutting-edge financial products/services. I have to come follow a strict protocol that I have developed for myself when making any investment. And nine times out of ten, I am investing in a company that has a product or service that I trust and use daily.
In conclusion, my entrepreneurial spirit found its way into various communities of practice, and all thanks goes to the big man above. It only feels right to share my knowledge and experience with as many people as I can in attempt to improve and empower someone’s life. If I can my learn my way around cutting-edge technologies, and work my way into various networks of trusted professionals – so can you! If Digital Asset Investor and The BearableBull can launch their own YouTube channels – so can I.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the perks of living in Southern California is that you have so many activities and places within arms reach. You can spend part of your day playing in the mountains, drive 45 minutes and be in the middle of the desert, and drive another 45 minutes away and spend the remainder of your day relaxing at an iconic beach.
For this exercise – my schedule is blocked out for all work-related matters, and let’s say that my best friend, Bob, is in town vacationing with his wife, Alice. They are celebrating their wedding anniversary, staying all week long at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, CA. Even though I haven’t seen Bob in quite a while, this is a special week is for him and Alice. So, I want to make sure the two have a great time without overstepping any boundaries. Please see below for my scheduled itinerary:
Leah and I pick up Bob and Alice from John Wayne Airport. I drive us all to Cappy’s Cafe in Newport Beach, where we catch up, have a great time, and enjoy the scenery. Cappy’s Cafe is a diner situated on prime-time real estate, steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Leah and I love going to Cappy’s Cafe for brunch. They’ve got a friendly staff, fresh ingredients, and famous Bloody Mary’s.
After brunch we stroll down the beach before heading southbound on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), making our way to The Ritz Carlton Hotel. Driving south on PCH we pass through Laguna Beach. We stop off in Downtown Laguna to mosey around the gift shops off Broadway St. We continue our drive further south and drop the two off at their hotel so they can get settled in, and enjoy some alone time. Little does Bob and Alice know that a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon awaits for them in their hotel, with a personalized card including a reservation for a couples massage at the Spa.
Leah and I meet up with Bob and Alice down at Salt Creek Beach. We have ourselves a wonderful beach day. We bring our daughter, Eden Rae. The wagon is packed with refreshment, tasty snacks, and beach games. The portable speaker is blasting 90’s music nonstop. We’re living our best lives while building sand sandcastles with baby Eden Rae.
Later on in the evening Leah and I head back over to pick up Alice and Bob from their hotel. We head over to our dinner reservations at Sapphire in Laguna Beach. We sip on their craft cocktails, I devour their Bone and Ribeye. Leah and I share our favorite desert, the Dark Chocolate Chunk and Fromage Blanc Cookies with peanut butter cup gelato and Spanish peanut crumble. We introduce Bob and Alice to the owner of Sapphire, Russ Bendel. Him and his his staff always take great care of us.
Wednesday is Bob and Alice’s Wedding Anniversay, so we give them their space. They check into the Ritz Carlton Hotel’s Spa for their couples massage. After the special spa treatment they head on down to the Dana Point Harbor and hop on the DolphinSafari to go whale watching. They see humpback whales breaching just outside the harbor. They find a pod of friendly dolphin coasting with the speed of the catamaran. For their anniversary dinner they take Leah’s recommendation and enjoy a romantic dinner at The Loft of the world famous Montage Hotel, also in Laguna Beach.
Leah takes Alice to go get manicures and pedicures. Bob and I rent the Boardroom – a world-renounced fishing charter out of Dana Point Harbor. The boat is massive and the crew (Todd Mansur and Travis Tompkins) is very fishy. We take the boat out for the day for some world-class fishing. We moor the boat at Two Harbors of Catalina Island, grab lunch, and cruise around the island. More arrive back at Dana Point Harbor in the early afternoon, and exhausted from being out on the water all morning long. So, we meet back up with our wives and relax poolside at The Ritz Carlton Hotel. Once we’re all pruned up we get ready for a sunset dinner at RAYA. Another world-famous restaurant inside The Ritz Carlton, overlooking Salt Creek Beach.
Leah and I pick Alice and Bob up from their hotel around 10AM and head on over to our condo on the PGA West Golf Course, La Quinta. On the way out to La Quinta we stop off at the Dowling Fruit Orchard to pick up fresh produce for our stay. Once we arrive, Bob and I manage to sneak a round of golf in while the ladies relax poolside. I make my famous fish tacos for dinner – incorporating the snapper caught during our fishing trip on the Boardroom. We sip on a spicy margaritas with Tajin on the rim of the glass, and be merry.
In the morning we take the golf cart over to have breakfast at Ernies before heading back to Orange County and hopping on a Duffy Boat to cruise around the Newport Harbor. We mosey down various canals scattered throughout Balboa Peninsula. We’ll pass the time talking about our friendship, who our kids are going to be when they grow up, and gaze at the multi-million dollar homes sitting on the water. Leah and I will drop Alice and Bob back off at their hotel, and let them spend the evening however they please.
I drive Alice and Bob back to John Wayne Airport for their early flight out. We exchange photos from our trip. We laugh out loud as we recap their trip. I hold back the tears as they wrap up their trip while we continue reminiscing the timeless moments shared throughout our life-long friendship. A friendship that has not only stood the test of time, but distance as well. I see them off as they enter their respective terminal before driving back home to my wife and kid – thankful.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout to the following people/organizations for reinvigorating my stoke for entrepreneurship, and/or the motivation to launch the YouTube show “Welcome To Salt Creek”:
Leah – I couldn’t do this without you. You and Eden Rae are my world. Thank you for the continued love and support. Seeing you hustle only drives me to work harder. I’m blessed to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you mucho always and forever!
Ross – Thank you for the initial push towards starting Welcome To Salt Creek. Thank you for always being there for me. I may be your older brother, but I will always look up to you. You are a good man. Keep those creative juices flowing! I love you mucho.
Mom & Dad – You two are my North Star. Thank you for the continuous love, support and direction. Thank you for all of the wonderful opportunities. Thank you for leading by example and never giving up on me. I’m blessed to be your son. All of my hard work is an emulation of yours. I love you mucho – always and forever.
Linqto – Thank you Joe Endoso, Ivon Rodriguez, Team Apollo, and the rest of the Linqto Family. I am forever grateful and indebted for the knowledge, experiences, and friendship gained. See you guys at the top!
Digital Asset Investor and Digital Perspectives – Stumbling across your YouTube Channels was my one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Thank you for reinvigorating my stoke for entrepreneurship. Thank you for the reminder to do my own research. And thank you for the surreal opportunity to write your liability insurance and entrusting me with your business insurance needs.
TheBearableBull – Thank you for leading by example, telling it like it is, and including me in your network. I appreciate you brother. Good to see “The Accidental Billionaire University” changing lives!
Newfront – Thank you for giving me the platform to intersect my work, my play, and my love. Thank you for the resources to adapt and improve my personal and professional wellbeing.
JThrillz – Thank you for the drone footage of Salt Creek. You sparked the idea for titling the show “Welcome To Salt Creek.” I owe you brother! Much love, and I’m always here for you.
Professor John Bradley Jackson – Thank you for the motivation to start my very first business “Rosa Packs,” a defining moment of my entrepreneurial journey. Thank you for the opportunity to come back and mentor at CSUF.
Mrs. Gilman – I will always hold you close to my heart. You were the best 6th grade teacher a boy could have ever asked for. I miss you and I hope you are doing well.
Instagram: @welcometosaltcreek and/or @raymondrossfuentes
Twitter: @wlcm2saltcreek and/or @ray_fuentes1111