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“With support, people create the most amazing things” says Latina Executive Coach Elena Armijo on the importance of mentors

When companies are looking to hire a leadership position, emotional intelligence often the most sought after qualification.  A recent survey found 71% of employers said they value EQ over IQ, noting that leaders with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.

Executive Leadership Coach

Elena Armijo, Latina entrepreneur and Executive Leadership Coach. (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

After years as an acclaimed Executive Leadership Coach, Latina entrepreneur Elena Armijo founded The C-Suite Collective, a boutique holistic coaching and training agency with the mission to equip and empower successful C-suite executives, founders, and entrepreneurs with holistic executive coaching programs and customized support for teams that foster culture change, organizational growth, and generational impact for years to come that helps them attain their goals in a healthy, efficient way.

“Emotional intelligence starts with managers being emotionally aware,” Elena says.

Elena offers in-depth and customized executive programs for high performers who are at the top of their respective fields – from CEOs of leading businesses, to professional athletes, policy-focused individuals, entertainers and artists, and more. In addition to her work as a professional coach, Elena also hosts the podcast “In A Manner of Speaking…with Elena Armijo” where she amplifies women’s voices and encourages you to go after your dreams.  

She was inspired to become an Executive and Leadership Coach through her work as a professional opera singer, experiencing first hand the benefits coaching had on transforming her own mindset. Drawn to work with ambitious top performers like herself, she realized she could bring unique insight to the coaching business after spending a decade “on the other side of the table.”

“I was a professional opera singer before I pivoted to coaching.  I had spent over 20 years preparing for a career in opera and came to NY in 2007 to start singing professionally.  My path quickly took off, and at one point, I was traveling 10 months out of the year and only came back to NY to change out clothes in my suitcase.  In 2014, I realized something had to change,” Elena shares. 

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She was burned out at the time, struggling in her relationships and missing family gatherings back home. Working to make a change in her life, Elena decided to hire a coach herself and she soon began benefiting from experience. 

“I was able to see that I had built my entire career from a place of proving my worth to the world and over working.  I had to slow down and learn more about who I was as a person to even begin to find out what I wanted to do,” she says. 

Most of Elena’s own struggles have stemmed from a “core wound” of feeling not good enough in the world. Many with similar limiting beliefs may question their success or doubt their abilities to do a good job and succeed. 

“This has been something I have struggled with my entire life and have done a lot of healing work around,” Elena says. “It showed up for me like questioning whether I could follow through on a contract I just landed, getting a new rockstar client and being in disbelief that I could support them, or worrying that when my team and company grows, that it could all come falling down.” 

After working with a coach, therapist, and healers in the world, as well as sharing what she learned with her family, she has been able to release these limiting beliefs around her self worth and continues to do so today.

“I now have the tools and support system to know that when those feelings come up it simply needs some loving care and compassion. This is something I wouldn’t have known in the beginning of my career.” 

Executive Leadership Coach

“My focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact”

Experiencing the benefits of coaching in her own life, Elena fell in love with coaching just as much as she loves music, and eventually decided to open her own business in 2015 and become and Executive Leadership Coach to help others who struggled like her. 

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact in the world through authentic expression and experience.  And we all have fun while we do it!  With more support, people create the most amazing things.”

Executive Leadership Coach

“No one does this alone and support changes everything.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

Growing up, Elena’s family table was always full. Her parents made sure there was more than enough food for everyone who needed it, and it’s this sentiment that Elena carries with her, both literally and figuratively in her life and profession. 

“I make sure everyone eats. As a business owner, I make sure everyone wins with me. I believe this is one way we can create true equity and inclusion as well as legacy.  So anytime I am speaking to prospective companies, clients, or my own team, my focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.”

Partnering with Elena, clients have created and achieved the professional and personal impact in the world they once perceived unattainable.

Elena shares the story of one client who was able to completely shift her limiting beliefs and find success. 

“My client, a woman of color and an executive, hired me to work on owning her power and voice in the world.  When she came to me she was afraid, burnt out, and resigned around playing “the game” of getting ahead in a system that was not built for her.  By the end of our work together she said something really simple.  ‘I learned through our work that I may not be able to change the system, but I sure can find ways to be fully me within it, own what I want, and choose my path moving forward if it’s not working.  I finally see the freedom I have in choosing how I respond in any situation.’” 

You might be interested: “We don’t need to do it alone” says SBA’s Bibi Hidalgo, to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs 

These words from her client filled her with joy. Being able to help others find the pathways to their own success is Elena’s personal success, she says. 

For leaders and executives in high pressure jobs, taking the time to cultivate emotional intelligence and a positive success mindset is crucial. To those looking to start shifting their limiting beliefs and opening those doorways to success, Elena advises that you start by surrounding yourself with support.  

“There are so many women that want to mentor, coach, and be by your side to help you rise.  No one does this alone and support changes everything.  Hire a coach, therapist, healer, or mentor that will help you see more possibilities than you might currently know exists. This is how we achieve success and growth together!” 


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Latina career coach and author Cici Castelli shares key tips to unlock your success mindset in new book

Mindset is everything when it comes to achieving success. Whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or starting a new business or venture as an entrepreneur, your mindset is what will determine your success. 

Latina career coach and author of Mindset Unlocked, Cici Castelli shares some key insights in mindset management and how to unlock your success mindset to take you to the next level. 

Latina career coach, Cici Castelli

Certified High Performance Coach and author, Cici Castelli. (Photo courtesy of Cici Castelli)

As a first-generation immigrant, Cici came to the US from Venezuela at the age of 17 without her family because she strongly believed she wanted to succeed on her own. For ten years she lived the life of an immigrant while she put herself through school and eventually started her career as the Director of Interpreter Services in two major hospitals in the Boston area. 

After eleven years in this career, Cici decided to make a change during the beginning of the dot.com era, pivoting to the tech industry and starting over in California.  

It was a challenge, giving up her Director’s role to take on a much lower administrative position, moving from Boston to California, and basically having to start at the bottom of the ladder again in a new industry, but Cici had the right mindset and set herself to the task. 

“I had the vision that I would climb the corporate ladder again, now in the technology industry, and attain a much higher salary range and benefits than if I stayed in the medical field,” she says. 

Now, Cici is a Technology Executive in the travel and hospitality industry, a real estate investor, and a Certified High Performance Coach offering coaching services on her site www.cicicastelli.com

As a coach, she works with people that are hungry for success and are willing to change to reach their next level in their career and her experiences as  a Latina who has changed her careers while being a single mom; moved across the USA and the worlds more than once; her success in climbing the corporate ladder in different industries; being a female leader in a male dominated industry; and her strong project management background makes her a remarkable individual who can help others succeed.

Through her work, she helps clients obtain clarity, productivity and courage in order to be successful and achieve balance and personal happiness! 

“My passion is empowering my clients to live a better life by helping them discover and build healthier habits and find their individual success in their own game of life.”

Jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey with inspirational titles on Audible today!

Key tips to unlock your success mindset 

In her book Mindset Unlocked: Do What Others Can’t, Won’t, or Don’t Do for a Successful and Balanced Career, and Life, Cici teaches you how to level up your mindset and maximize your potential by unlocking your ultimate competitive advantage. 

“To succeed in every area of your life you need to unlock your mindset, be bold, be flexible, take risks and start doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do,” says Cici. 

As a coach, she has witnessed time and time again how a shift in mindset can produce a total transformation and help people achieve the success of their dreams. 

“I worked once with a lady that had worked as an admin for years and that is what she had in mind for herself and what those around her believed that is what she was best at because she was ‘super cooperative and helpful to others.’ After we worked together for a while, through my mentorship and guidance she received the schooling and training she needed and the right opportunities for herself. Now, she has is a senior project manager in technology earning a six-figure salary and having balance in her personal life. She has shuttered everyone’s expectations including her own! Today she is a leader herself!” Cici shares. 

You might be interested: Healing Leadership: A conversation with Dr. Ginny Baro about the need for great leaders

Stories like these are what make Cici so eager to continue to coach others. She wants to help people become successful, whether that be directly through her coaching and mentorship or indirectly through the work of others she has helped, with her book, or her soon to be published online course. 

For other aspiring minority women and Latina entrepreneurs or career women looking to kickstart their mindset shift and start unlocking their maximum potential, Cici offers three key tips. 

  1. Ditch “living one day at a time” and instead plan each day, week, month, and year for optimal goal achievement. Many people are successful for a day, a week, a year but to have sustained success you need to learn how to maintain that success for a lifetime. 
  2. Passion is the key to becoming a better leader—you need to make yourself feel passionate about every single thing you do. 
  3. Take risks, embrace challenges, and never give up. Starting a venture or taking a leap of faith can be daunting, but the key to achieving success is often doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do. So take that leap! Don’t accept average when extraordinary is possible—with a simple mindset shift!

“Only you can define what success looks like to you and when you figure out how to maximize your potential and unlock your competitive advantage without sacrificing it all, your whole life will be transformed,” says Cici. “You just need to start doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do. And being a minority is part of our competitive advantage!”


*This article contains affiliated links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. 

career counseling

Latina Career Coach Bonnie Negron gives advice for achieving career goals

Inspire. Identify. Achieve. This is the tagline for Bonnie Negron’s company, Bonnie Career Services, Inc. The company aims to help individuals in their job searches and careers by inspiring them with the confidence to reach their career goals and achieve success.

career counseling

Bonnie Negron, CEO at Bonnie Career Services Inc.

Bonnie loves helping others and believes that her work goes beyond just helping people find jobs. She wants to help them feel empowered and bring them hope and excitement as they strive for their utmost career goals.

Bonnie is an Executive Leadership Award winner with a BBA in International Management from Pace University and an MBA in Management with Honors from Wagner College. Born in Brooklyn to an Ecuadorian dad and Italian/Irish mom, she began her career at the age of 16, working as an intern for an international law firm in New York City. From there she continued working, earning her first management position at the age of 19. It was during this position that Bonnie realized how much she enjoyed mentoring and training others. She loved helping people succeed. Since then, Bonnie was always in a leadership role.

Career goals for all

career counselingAs she continued to strive for her own career goals, friends, family, and colleagues would often ask her for help with their own careers. She often would help them edit their resumes, offer career advice, and coach them on opportunities.

“I took the time to provide insights for their career development because talking success and happiness gets me excited,” said Bonnie, “so I would happily divulge any knowledge I thought they would find helpful.”

In 2017, after years of working in the corporate world, Bonnie decided she needed a change. She no longer felt fulfilled in her job. Deciding to start anew, she sent her resume to a resume writer, hoping to enhance her resume to be the best it could be. What she received was disappointing.

“I received a document that was full of spelling errors and with minor revision to my original document. I was appalled that I had wasted hundreds of dollars on a service hat I very well knew I could’ve handled on my own,” said Bonnie.

It was at this point that Bonnie had the vision for her business.

“I realized that I had been doing this resume writing and career coaching since I was a teenager and I needed to expand my skills outside of family, friends, and employers so I could help individuals everywhere.”

career counselingShe officially began Bonnie Career Services in September of 2017 and the company has been growing since then. Of the obstacles she’s faced so far being a business owner, Bonnie says the biggest struggle was the transition from employee to owner and setting up all the benefits she was used to having.

 

“Medical/dental, 401K, payroll and other insurances– there are so many options and pricing for these services that I just didn’t know what was the best option for a small business owner,” said Bonnie.

She was able to overcome this obstacle by doing extensive research, asking for quotes, and consulting with various other business professionals as well as utilizing the resources within Statewide Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of New Jersey.

Every business has its challenges

Bonnie has not let these obstacles deter her from her ambitions. She continues to stay motivated and says her biggest inspiration and motivation are her daughters.

“Every step that I have taken in my career has been to be a mom that makes them proud and teaches them to be strong, independent women,” shared Bonnie.

Her daughters often help her with her business and they enjoy learning about resumes, different positions, and career paths. Bonnie hopes to inspire her daughters the way she inspires her clients, showing them the value of their skills and talents so that they may achieve their career goals. It is from this desire to inspire that the business’ tagline was born.

career goals

My strengths have always been in back office operations such as finance, human resources, administration and IT, Bonnie Negron said.

Bonnie enjoys helping people realize their true potential and harness the skills and strengths they have to better their careers. When asked what she would say her biggest strengths are as a Latina business owner, Bonnie cited her leadership skills and problem solving.

“My strengths have always been in back office operations such as finance, human resources, administration and IT…and performing as a hiring manager for many years.”

Its these positions she says that have given her the hands-on experience so that she can now coach others on their own career development.

Bonnie has some career goals advice to share with readers

“Don’t think about doing it, just do it! Set career goals and stick to them. Ask for that raise or promotion, network with industry professionals, have a positive support system, and always have an updated resume.”

She specifically stresses the importance of having an updated resume on hand as one never knows when an opportunity may arise.

Bonnie urges both her clients and readers to simply begin. Take those first baby steps towards one’s career goals. It’s the first steps that are the hardest.

“Once you make that first step, everything else follows directly after and you’ll question why you didn’t make that first step sooner.”