Josue Pena Mastered Instagram to Become a Professional Athlete. Now He Helps Others Become What They Want to Be.
The Dominican Republic native shares his advice for making your dreams a reality.
In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Josue Pena, founder of Instagram marketing business Online CEOs, which helps entrepreneurs grow and monetize their business and has earned over six million followers. It was condensed by The Oracles.
What's your story?
Josue Pena: I immigrated to the U.S. in 2015. I come from the Dominican Republic, which is a poor country. I wanted to become a professional soccer player, but I knew no one was going to find me, so I started doing Instagram marketing for myself. My strategy eventually worked, and I earned a contract to play professionally.
I ended up turning it down to go all in on building an Instagram agency. Social media has made it possible to build an audience from scratch and make an impact on the world. I didn't start my business to make a lot of money — I just wanted to provide a good life for my family. My proudest moment was when I was able to use the profits to buy something for my parents for the first time.
Share an interesting fact about yourself that not many people would know.
Josue Pena: I went from having a six-figure business to less than $2,000 in the bank to building my Instagram marketing agency Online CEOs, which has made over $2 million in the last year alone.
What excites you the most about your business right now?
Josue Pena: We've grown really quickly and been able to impact a lot of businesses. Hundreds of our students have shared testimonials and success stories. Some have made $3,000 in just five days. Others have made $60,000 a month from our program.
I invested thousands in a coach to make sure we have the right systems and processes in place for growth. He says we can see $10 million a year in the next few years. I'm excited to see where we go from here and to dominate the Hispanic market.
What's your secret to success?
Josue Pena: If you want to get from New York to Los Angeles, you don't just start driving — you get a map or GPS. If you want to succeed in business, get a mentor or coach.
It took me nearly four years to buy my first coaching program, and it changed my life. My coach Alex Charfen has taught me invaluable lessons. For example, it's not a sales problem, it's not a marketing problem — it's a team-building problem. Books are also like roadmaps to success. For example, "DotCom Secrets" by Russell Brunson helped me build webinars and understand sales.
How do you define great leadership and what is the most common leadership mistake?
Josue Pena: Great leaders are able to motivate and push people forward. They lead by example and make a positive impact. At the end of the day, you're successful if you've made an impact on the world.
The most common leadership mistake is putting yourself before your people. You must be willing to sacrifice and get your hands dirty.
How do you hire top talent?
Josue Pena: Hire from your own community. Look for those who have the same mission, vision, and drive. Before you enter a long-term business relationship, find out what they're like on a day-to-day basis with their friends. Make sure you both win.
What's your favorite quote?
Josue Pena: My favorite quote is from the Bible. Joshua 1:9 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
My core values are hope, strength to keep pushing, and courage to conquer fear. I always get back up when I fall and keep pushing forward.
How do you prevent burnout?
Josue Pena: Your vision and core values should drive you. Most of my results come from focusing on my craft, networking, and providing a ton of value for free. We under promise and over deliver. When you plant a seed, the tree will not grow in a day.
Create a system to plan your daily routine for success. Stay hydrated and take a morning walk to get yourself mentally in the game. Identify what makes you uncomfortable and tackle it as a team.
What are you working on right now?
Josue Pena: I'm developing a high-end coaching program that will focus on the A to Z of starting your own Instagram agency. Our promise is to get our clients to $100,000 in revenue in their first year, even if they have no experience.
We are also developing Instagram software and systems to help corporations run their Instagram accounts in-house. We're building programs for the Spanish community and supporting several charities in the Dominican Republic as well.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Josue Pena: Being an immigrant has been my biggest challenge. I am very passionate about the Spanish community and my country, the Dominican Republic. I want to be known as the person who changed the Latin mentality.
I also want to help people have faith in themselves — to shoot for the stars and succeed. When I was starting my business, people told me to quit and get a job. I kept pushing toward my dream and decided to work smarter rather than harder. I want to show others that you don't have to listen to people who tell you to give away your dreams.