A Latina innovator on becoming a successful Tech entrepreneur

Commerce has been in my blood since birth. But being a Tech entrepreneur?

Monica Taher, serial Tech entrepreneur and new Tech Talk contributor at LatinasInBusiness.us

Monica Taher, serial Tech entrepreneur and Tech Talk contributor at LatinasInBusiness.us

As a little girl, I would literally sell anything that came my way to my friends. Unused school supplies, gifts my parents gave me (they still don’t know about this) and fruit from the trees in my backyard were hot commodities. Growing up in a tropical country certainly had its advantages.

It wasn’t about having the extra cash in my pocket. I just loved interacting with people. I still do!

Ironically, I didn’t major in business when I left for college. Instead, I chose to embrace my love for film. While I wholeheartedly support women who are interested in studying business, it’s important to know that you CAN become a tech entrepreneur without a business degree.

Becoming a tech entrepreneur was a matter of feast or famine for me, meaning, I had to put food on the table. Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Or maybe not. If you haven’t read my story, you can do so here.

I’m not crazy. I have a comfortable job. Worse: I don’t know how to become a Tech entrepreneur!

Yes. If you are thinking of becoming a Tech entrepreneur, all of the above are correct. However, here are a few insightful points to consider:

A. Tech is the future

You are either in the digital era – or you’re not. Some of you might think you need to know how to decipher all of those weird computer languages to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. You don’t.

While I am a fervent supporter of women who code (go STEM majors!), you don’t have to be 100 percent literate in computer code to launch a tech startup.

How do I know? Well, if you are reading this blog, you probably already have a special idea you’ve been pondering in your head. You just don’t know how to go about executing it.

Furthermore, if you’ve always felt for any reason that you wanted to launch your own business, then you have it in you. And if tech is the future, you want to start thinking about that special idea in tech terms: an app or a platform (a service or product) and how it can serve consumers. Become a Tech entrepreneur!

By 2020, entrepreneurship and the need for innovators will be more important than ever. In 2013, men made up 74 percent of the tech workforce in our country. The rest (26%) were women. We need to change this ratio. Now it is your chance!

B. Knowledge is power

Click. Read. Repeat.

Who said that business news is boring? It’s just like watching an episode of the Kardashians. There’s plenty of drama to roll your eyes at and keep you entertained. Don’t believe me? Just ask the guys at Tinder. Anyway, you need to stay on top of trends, new ideas, and what other people are doing and developing by reading and reading and reading.

Yes, but where should you start?

Try getting accustomed to a daily dosage of fun tech articles on Business Insider, Forbes Woman, Entrepreneur Magazine and even the different sections (tech, business, women, etc.) in the Huffington Post. Also follow updates and topics here at the Tech Talk section in LatinasInBusiness.us.

If you want to be cool, create a group on your Facebook or Twitter feeds that contain these publications. Your feed will show you headlines with easy-to-read links.

Latina presenting colorful modern signs Tech entrepreneur

C. You enjoy dealing with people – Even when they are sometimes, Eh, annoying

Let’s be honest. It takes some finesse to deal with people – especially when one single person seems to have multiple personalities. I’ve met a few of those.

Instead of thinking you need to “sell your idea,” believe in your idea fiercely and love it passionately. Be smart and flexible enough to shift gears if something isn’t working quite right. In tech terms, this is called “pivoting.”

Become a “connector.” Don’t sell. Instead, share knowledge. People will appreciate that.

PEN 2014 Literary Gala ©Aslan Habib Chalom Tech entrepreneur

Malcom Gladwell at PEN 2014 Literary Gala ©Aslan Habib Chalom/PEN American Center www.aboutadollar.net

If you still haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, then you must. It is an inspiring book that can help you shape your perspective on entrepreneurship.

D. Get in there and make it happen

As a woman and single mother, I cannot express to you how fulfilling it is to run a startup. If you have always dreamed about owning a business, there’s no better time than now.

In future posts, I will be blogging about the basics: How to launch a startup, where you can find seed and investment funding, and other provocative topics to help you navigate the world of tech entrepreneurship.

Remember, tech is the future. You are a woman – and you are invincible.
 

Did you miss my CNN en Español segment about women & leadership in the tech industry? You can watch it here.

Follow Monica’s blog at http://www.monicataher.com/

Monica Taher

About Monica Taher

Mónica Taher is a serial tech entrepreneur and an Accelerate with Google Academy alumnae. She is a Partner at Getty Images Latin America (GILA) and the CEO & Founder of ClipYap, a soon-to-be launched app. Mónica is also an active member of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Latin American Task Force and is the LA City Director for Lesbians Who Tech.
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