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Top 5 Secrets to become a successful entrepreneur

These five secrets are not new; however, they are a good reminder of what it takes to move forward on your entrepreneurship journey. Some may practice these actions on and off, while others will turn them into habits. It’s those that ingrain these actions into their life that more often than not become successful entrepreneurs.

Top 5 Secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur (Photo created by cookie_studio on freepik)

Every entrepreneur hopes that their venture will be successful. Many times, entrepreneurs are taking a big risk, leaving behind corporate jobs or traditional careers all for a dream. At Latinas in Business, we are always sharing the stories of our fellow entrepreneurs and leaders in our community, and time and time again we see overlap and similarities in their successful journeys.

While some believe the toughest part of launching a new business is arriving at a great idea, more often than not the toughest part is actually acting on your dreams. So many of us are guilty of this: we dream up a great idea only to put it on a shelf “for later” and forget about it. Then, “later” we discover someone else has developed our idea, acting on it where we didn’t, and they are now successful for it.

Action is what makes a successful entrepreneur. Constant and consistent movement is what sets successful ventures apart from the others.

“It’s critical once you believe in an idea that you make the step to some form of action right away in order to start building momentum towards your goals,” Jon Gillespie-Brown wrote in So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur. Many new entrepreneurs “talk a good game but do not follow through.”

The importance of action is not just pertinent to a business launch. Owners of established businesses may also be stopped in their tracks in the face of challenges posed by regulations, advances in technology or the overall economy. A successful entrepreneur is someone who, regardless of the challenge, keeps moving though not always forward.

A successful entrepreneur know that success is not always a linear upward progression and understand that obstacles arise. Those who are ultimately successful do not become paralyzed by challenges but instead find a way around them. They don’t sit still. They keep moving. They adapt.

Entrepreneurs who are unable or unwilling to continue to move forward or backward or seek an alternative route are destined to doom. Without movement of some sort the entrepreneur’s venture gets stuck and eventually fails. If you’re determined to make your venture a success that stands apart from the rest, then take these actions and ingrain them into your business building process.

Top 5 actions that make a successful entrepreneur

  1. Set goals.

Set goals to put your plans into focus. (Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels)

Entrepreneurs who know what they want and have set a course are more likely to accomplish their objectives. Goals act as the homing device for an entrepreneurs’ actions. At times they may need to take a step back or sideways to continue to move forward. Like the North Star guiding navigators, goals help entrepreneurs create a new course after making adjustments.

  1. Don’t fear failure.

Often people are taught that failing is bad. Yet without failure few entrepreneurs would know the way to success. Failure can be a powerful teacher. It shows you what needs changing, where you need to adapt and improve. Entrepreneurs seldom get it right the first time. But having the ability to keep moving by making adjustments improves the odds of success.

  1. Take risks.

Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec once wrote, “Accept that there is a chance you will fail to make the leap across a chasm, or the rock you are about to step on may crumble, but understand that the rewards outweigh the risks.”

Indeed there is truth to the saying “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Taking risks is the first step to making something happen. If you stay stagnant and still, nothing will change. Remember, success is achieved through action. 

  1. Don’t settle.

Some entrepreneurs may strike gold the first time out. Others require more time, energy and perhaps the alignment of some planets.

Don’t become discouraged. Keep moving. Evaluate your business plan and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and results. Sometimes moving past a large obstacle means going around it and not necessarily over it. If you want your venture to really be a success, don’t let yourself get stuck or settle for something that is only half of what you dreamed.

Seek a mentor to help you navigate the world of entrepreneurship. (Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels)

  1. Seek a mentor.

The entrepreneurs who freeze and do nothing when they come to their “moment of truth” may do so because they don’t know what to do next. The best way to achieve success is to work with someone who has already been down the same road. Plenty can go wrong in business but the right mentor can help an entrepreneur navigate the pitfalls and keep moving forward, improving the odds for success. Joining a community of like-minded individuals and entrepreneurs is a great way of connecting with people who have been there before, and can guide you through your journey.


This article was originally published in 2015. It has been updated for relevancy. 

imposter syndrome

Feeling like a fraud? It’s the imposter syndrome talking

Do you often feel like a fraud in the workplace? Are you convinced that you’re actually not as qualified or skilled as your co-workers and peers? Do you dismiss or downplay your achievements and criticize any praise you receive? If this sounds like you, then you might have the dreaded imposter syndrome. 

imposter syndrome

Are you suffering from imposter syndrome? (Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash)

You may have heard the term imposter syndrome in the workplace before but are unsure what it really means and if it applies to what you’re experiencing. Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon where successful people doubt their competence. It is characterized by a sense of inadequacy, the inability to internalize achievements, downplaying accomplishments, a self-critical inner voice, a reluctance to ask for help, and the fear of being “found out” or being exposed as inexperienced or untalented. Many who suffer from imposter syndrome have a tendency to explain away their accomplishments as being attributed to luck or good timing, downplaying their own role in the achievement. 

The term “imposter syndrome” was first described in the late 1970s by researchers Pauline Clance and Suzanne Ime, then referring to a pattern of inadequacy observed among female graduate students. In this original study, successful women reported feelings of “intellectual phoniness,” as if they “lucked out,” or tricked someone into believing they were smart and qualified. 

In the years since this research, further studies have confirmed that imposter syndrome in the workplace and academic environments is more common than you may think. In 2014, a study found that imposter syndrome was the top fear of executives around the world. Additionally, it’s reported that 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career. 

The unfortunate irony is that the further you advance in your career, the more likely you’ll feel like a fraud. And dealing with imposter syndrome long-term can end up affecting your productivity and performance, giving fuel to those negative thoughts. Many who suffer with imposter syndrome end up turning down new opportunities out of fear of failure and they can fail to start or finish projects because they dread the negative feedback they believe they will receive. Some people will even avoid getting feedback all together or begin to doubt and second guess their decisions on projects. Others may also begin to overwork themselves to the point of burnout in an effort to “prove” their worth. 

None of these outcomes are good, so what can you do to silence that negative voice in your head and overcome imposter syndrome in the workplace? The key is to rewire your mind. 

You might be interested: Capable women suffer the impostor Syndrome, are you one of them?

imposter syndrome

It’s time to silence the imposter in your head. (Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash)

5 Tips to overcome imposter syndrome in the workplace 

It’s all in your head. No, literally. When it comes to dealing with imposter syndrome, mindset is everything. If you’re going to silence that negative little voice in your head, you need to start learning new ways to think and speak to yourself. If another voice is talking, then there’s no room for that negative one to get a word in, right?

Figure out what’s making you doubt – The first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to figure out what’s making you doubt yourself. Is it new responsibilities? A promotion? A new, unfamiliar task or project? Once you identify the thing that’s making you doubt, you can begin to rethink your beliefs surrounding the topic. If you think your new promotion was undeserved or the result of luck, start listing your skills and rationalize all the different reasons you’re the right person for the job. 

Reframe your story – Following the previous tip, once you start thinking about your skills, you can begin to reframe your story. Pay attention to the language you use to describe yourself, your journey, and accomplishments. Switch out negative or doubtful words for positive ones. Spend some time to sit down and write out your story. How did you get to where you are today? Pretend you’re writing the bio to a memoir or resume. Let all your achievements shine and build up your self confidence. 

Seek outside reassurance – If you’re struggling to think positively about yourself and your skills, seek outside reassurance. Build a network and community of trusted individuals who know you personally and can vouch for your accomplishments. When you’re feeling down, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in that negative voice in your head. To bring you out of that gloomy mindset, it can help to just talk to someone else. Air out your feelings and remember you’re not alone. So many people struggle with imposter syndrome. My confiding in someone else, they can help you identify those negative, irrational feelings and reassure you of your strengths and skills. 

Keep track of your accomplishments – Again, mindset is everything. When you get caught up in the negative spiral, all your accomplishments or successes become shadowed by doubt. It may be helpful in these moments to have a list or “bank” of your accomplishments handy to reel you in and bring you back out of that doubtful mentality. Some people create vision boards of their goals and keep track of their accomplishments and wins–both big and small. Celebrating your successes is a great way to remind yourself that you are skilled and capable. Others keep lists of their skills and accomplishments nearby to remind themselves that they are not a fraud. You can even keep a journal or document where you note positive feedback you have received from your boss, clients, or coworkers. 

Build up your knowledge – Lastly, the best way to tune out the imposter’s voice of doubt is to build up your knowledge. The more you know about your field or industry, the more of an expert you become. If you’re feeling inadequate or unworthy of your success, keep learning! You can’t be a fraud or imposter if you’re an expert. 

Imposter syndrome doesn’t have to rule your life. It’s time to tune out that negative voice in your head and be proud of your successes and achievements. You got this!

Latina leadership

Corporate executive Beth Marmolejos shares insights on being a Latina leader

How hard is it to become a Latina leader? Throughout her career, Beth Marmolejos has risen to leadership roles and achieved great success in her field.  Her story offers some insights and advice to other aspiring Latina leaders.  

Latina leadership

Beth Marrazini-Marmolejos

Bethania “Beth” Marrazini-Marmolejos is a passionate, hard-working corporate executive with 25 plus years experience in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries. She is currently employed by Anthem in New York City where she serves as an IT Executive Advisor for the New York and Wisconsin markets.

Beth began her corporate career in 1987, working as a Data Sales Entry analyst for MEDCO Health Solutions Accounting Department in Franklin Lakes, NJ. She began this job with no college credits and through her years with the company she was able to earn both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Eighty-percent of her courses were paid for by her employer as long as she maintained her grades.  After ten years of intensive coursework, Beth graduated with honors earning a Bachelors in Accounting and a Masters in Finance.

While she worked toward earning her degrees, Beth continued to move up through various roles within the Finance department at MEDCO. These experiences helped prepare Beth for the leaderships roles that would soon follow in her career.

Seeing challenges as opportunities for Latina leadership

Latina leadership

Beth Marmolejos Speaker at Bellas Fashionistas NY 2018 with Founder Flerisel Bello

One story Beth shares is when at MEDCO, her company bought a subsidiary called “Accredo” for $2B. At this time, both the President of that subsidiary and Beth’s boss, the Vice President of Financing and Pricing, decided to leave. “That challenge was a blessing for me,” says Beth. As the Senior Manager of Finance, Beth was propelled into a major leadership role helping the company through the acquisition and integration of the subsidiary.

“Then, I was young and did not realize what a huge undertaking and responsibility this was, I just faced the situation head on and did my job,” she explains. “That being said, the opportunity opened doors for me to be flying on the company’s jet with senior leaders to Memphis…and got a promotion to Director of Finance after the acquisition was completed,” says Beth.  “The moral of the story is that I was able to remain calm and focus despite the challenges, and ended up getting promoted.”

Later in 2013, Beth left MEDCO to work in New York City for Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield under the leadership of Brian Griffin, an old colleague of Beth’s from MEDCO. Here she continued to rise quickly, earning the title of Director after only six months of starting at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Beginning in 2016, Beth started working as IT Executive Advisor for the state of New York and Wisconsin for Empire’s parent company, Anthem. Here she continues to be someone people love to work with. She believes her Latina roots give her an edge above her peers and have led her to success within her field. She faces every situation with a can-do mentality and positive energy– traits that have been fostered in her through her Latina upbringing.

When working with others she always treats people with respect. “I truly and genuinely make everyone feel valued and that comes from the Latina in me! We love people!” says Beth.

“Latinindad,” a challenge or a benefit for Latina leadership

Latina leadership

Community Leader Honoree from North Jersey Federal Credit Union with Arlene Quinones Perez, Esq and Lourdes Cortez, President.

Beth also cites that one challenge she has faced throughout her years in her field is often being the only Latina in her department. At times she has felt that she needs to “tone down” her passion and enthusiasm to project at a more Executive level. This act of self-censorship is difficult because “As you know, we Latinas are very passionate!” says Beth.

Another challenge has been dealing with people that do not share her same business ethics and moral compass. These people often become hindrances as they do not understand Beth’s enthusiasm or misinterpret her desire to help as having a hidden agenda.  Still, Beth does not let these people discourage her.

You might be interested: Arlene Quinones-Perez opening speaker at Female Leadership Business Retreat

Throughout her years of experience she has learned many insights. To other Latinas searching for success in their own careers, Beth shares that “when you treat people with respect…that creates a good reputation that you can leverage to obtain better opportunities within your organization.” She believes that the key to obtaining leadership roles is to be a “can-do type of person” and to be happy, positive, and knowledgeable as these traits will attract others to want to work with you.

Beth’s story shows what can be achieved through hard work and a good attitude. She has risen through various positions in her field and now occupies a Latina leadership role across many organizations.  She hopes to help other Hispanic professionals achieve success, especially Latinas, by opening doors to help them move forward.

“I am eager to…make sure that more people that look like me are at the leadership table with me.”

 

tell Your Story

Capable women suffer the impostor Syndrome, are you one of them?

What is the Impostor Syndrome and why capable woman suffer from it? LatinaVIDA just nails it with these simple but powerful ways to change your fears into good habits that will give you confidence and trust in your self-worth.

Guest post by  www.LatinaVIDA.org

tell Your Story impostor syndrome

“You can have all the confidence in the world and still be reluctant to self-promote out of a steadfast belief that a person’s work should speak for itself. It doesn’t.” 
― Valerie Young

  • Do you suffer from a fear that somehow others might see you as less than capable for your job?
  • Are you often thinking that others see through your achievements to an inadequate set of skills?
  • Do you panic that you might get questioned about your qualifications–even though you’ve been doing the job for years?

There’s a name for this and it’s called The Impostor Syndrome.

While this general anxiety can strike anyone at different times in their career–especially high achievers–it is women and particularly women of color that are more prone to these ruminations and self-doubt.

It means that despite having completed degrees, received awards or achieving key milestones in your professional role–somehow you have not integrated these achievements with your sense of self.

The net result of Impostor Syndrome is that you may limit what you seek to do or speak less favorably about your potential. Suffer no more!

Uno, dos y tres.  Let’s do this con ganas!

Monitor the Self Talk 

The Impostor speaks loudly–in your head!  We all process events and circumstances around us and often label them in an endless range of dimensions: good/bad, strong/weak, focused/scattered.  Keep a journal of what you say to yourself about your workday or your achievements and look for patterns. Based on what you see, you may need to reframe those thoughts and develop affirmations, mantras or simple reminders to paint a more accurate picture of yourself. “I am strong, wise and ready to achieve more”,  “I’ve got what it takes to rock this day.” Write this down now or say it out loud now and notice the impact it gives you.

Tell Your Story

Expand your view of self-worth beyond the role you play at work

It’s easy at certain times in your career to center just on your workplace achievements to the exclusion of all else.  If you’ve not spent much time with friends or family because of a grueling work project, that may be one reason that work seems to overshadow all other aspects of your view of your whole self.  Get to your friends and trusted advisors to hear a more balanced view of your strengths. Ask others to highlight for you what you do well, your superpowers, and your strengths. A little bit of pampering with your BFFs goes a long way to reframe your views that you are successful at many things.

empathy in the workplace

Work with a Performance Coach

The hard work of succeeding as a professional accountant, lawyer, therapist, marketing analyst, engineer, physician, project manager–enter your job here–is no different than being an athlete.  Training for a marathon is both physical and mental. It may be wise to sit down with a coach who can listen to what triggers your self-doubt or your negative messages and learn new ways to redirect those thoughts and build your confidence in new ways.

empathy in the workplace 3 impostor syndrome

That’s it.

Live Your VIDA with Intention. For additional information visit  www.LatinaVIDA.org

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