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Inner peace water Lily flower

A Latina entrepreneur coaches others in the path of self discovery

Fortuna Alcocer profile

Fortuna Alcocer, School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC

Fortuna Alcocer is an International Coach and Master Business Coach with NLP (Coach Internacional y Master Coach de Negocios con PN). She is the Owner & Director of School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC and the Owner and Director of Escuela de Empresarios Multinivel Exitosos. She was awarded the 2015 LatinasInBusiness.us Best Business Award.

 

I’m Tula Alcocer, Fortuna, for you, an expert at coaching individuals bloom their Inner Self.

A happy Peruvian woman, a mom of two kids, a linguist, a personal and a Master business neuro-coach, a mentor and a professional speaker that loves to inspire, listen, guide, educate and empower entrepreneurs to manage personal inner issues that prevent them to achieve their expectations in life and business.

I’m the owner of School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC, with a mission to provide proper knowledge and right guidance to entrepreneurs and small/medium-sized business owners who want to increase their productivity and leadership.

I am an entrepreneur since I was 14 years old. I started my entrepreneurial journey in the United States after the birth of my second child for three reasons:

  1. To accomplish my purpose in life. Entrepreneurship gives me the opportunity to use my talents, gifts and abilities to serve humanity.
  2. To enjoy freedom. For me, freedom is one of the most important values that every human being must enjoy. Entrepreneurship gives us the opportunity to accomplish it.
  3. For the satisfaction of being a mom raising her kids personally. Spending quality time with my kids, taking care of them is very rewarding and enjoyable. I accomplish this goal through entrepreneurship.

I realized that most entrepreneurs in the Hispanic community looking for prosperity end up with a life full of stress, frustration and dissatisfaction. They follow the wrong formula due to lack of proper knowledge and guidance. In fact, I was one of them. Even though I was successful in my network marketing business, my personal life was a real mess. After I received the proper education and mentoring, my life and business changed forever.

Fortuna Alcocer winner 2015 LatinasInBusiness.us Best Business Award 2015

Fortuna Alcocer winner 2015 LatinasInBusiness.us Best Business Award 2015

 

In 2009 I created the ACFA program for network marketing entrepreneurs. After a while, I realized that most of the personal, business and marketing strategies that I was sharing with them could be applied to entrepreneurs from other industries. So, in December of 2010 I decided to expand my services to local business small/medium-sized business owners in New Jersey with the vision that all entrepreneurs receive proper knowledge and guidance delivered in their Spanish native language so they increase their productivity and leadership.

In the first days of 2011, my life suddenly turned upside down leaving me in a homeless situation with no money and the only parent to support my two kids. It was a tough time. However, it was a blessing because it led me to self-realization.

I remember everybody saying that I was crazy thinking about starting a business in New Jersey in such adverse circumstances. Most people told me to look for a job. I thought to myself, however, “It is time to create my own company.” That’s what I did and I am so happy. I love what I do. How can’t I be successful?

Inner peace School of ProsperityMy first obstacle was the lack of knowledge and guidance. I didn’t know how to start my business and I didn’t know who could help me. I overcame this situation by taking entrepreneurial classes.

Then, I had no money for marketing purposes so I decided to create an online marketing strategy for my business, cut off unnecessary personal and business expenses and focus on what was really productive.

I also had to confront the lack of family support so I learned to balance my personal and entrepreneurial life by prioritizing tasks, managing my time and delegating. I created a very supportive community at home. I didn’t want to be a Super Woman, just a happy mom and a happy person.

Having a positive attitude, thinking big, keeping focused, going small, being faithful, organized and persistent are the strengths that helped me to move forward with my business.

I consider myself a person with a very positive attitude. I start my days with gratitude. I have faith that things will happen. I have a clear vision of what I want and where I’m going, and I never give up. I achieve my goals step by step with patience and enthusiasm. I organize my time with a weekly schedule for my business, my kids and myself.

School of prosperity banner

To those starting their own business, I recommend to:

Go ahead! Stop thinking. The only right time to start something is Now!

  • Use your brain:
    • Define ‘Why’ (values, not reasons) you want to start your business. Values are your source of self-motivation. Build your business on the foundation of self-motivation. Don’t wait others to motivate you.
    • Create a positive entrepreneurial mindset and attitude. You are the only responsible for your success. Believe in yourself!
    • Stay focused and manage your emotions that hold you back.
    • Educate about the business you want to start. Get the basics of the industry you want to work in. Knowledge matters!
  • Use your heart:
    • Feel passionate about what you do. Don’t think how much money you will earn. But how many people you will serve instead.
    • Use your talents, gifts and abilities to serve humanity. Living on purpose matters!
  • Use your hands:
    • Hold a mentor and a coach’s hand. You are not alone. There are people out there willing to guide you along your journey. Hold on to one!
    • Shake hands with positive people.
  • Use your feet:
    • Walk step by step. Take congruent and consistent actions until you accomplish your goals.
    • Dance, jump and celebrate your goals. Reward yourself. Never give up!

 

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Multi-ethnic businesswomen working on laptop

Purpose leadership, mentoring and mentorship

 Multi-ethnic businesswomen working on laptop

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve had mentors. I never asked for one but, fortunately, my supervisors always decided to give me advice on how to improve certain aspects of my professional life. I guess they felt that I was open to it and it was worth the effort.

I will never forget the day I had my first professional interview at a manufacturing company in Puerto Rico. I had to meet with five (5) different managers. They were interviewing recent college graduates for Production Supervisory positions they had available. The company was undergoing a re-engineering process and they wanted to hire junior engineers to help streamline processes and maximize productivity. I was selected by a very refined, yet extremely straight-forward Cuban-American manager. He said to me, “I chose you because although you seem extremely shy, you also seem to have great potential“. That was the beginning of a mentoring process that at that moment I did not see coming.

I was assigned to work the third shift (10 pm to 6 am). However, every morning after my shift ended, he wanted me to stay around for meetings and conference calls with the company US headquarters.  His goal was for me to practice my English language skills, work on my confidence, and learn more about the business. Every time we had one of those conference calls I felt like I was about to die. I had headaches, dizziness, and stomach pains.

Once, he said to me that even when I was doing a terrific job balancing production lines and implementing productivity measuring tools, nobody knew who I was. He indicated that it was extremely important for me to network with the other managers. That suggestion caused me a lot of stress. I could not understand why I needed to talk to anyone else. I was doing my job well, production output was good, I was even implementing tools to measure production efficiency; so to me, this was mean and unnecessary. However, pushing myself to follow his recommendation helped me being promoted very quickly  to the first shift  and also to be considered for a new position as master production planner helping the company to successfully implement a plant-wide supply-chain system.

Like him, I’ve had many supervisors and colleagues who have provided mentoring advice. It has not been in a formal fashion where you meet purposely to discuss a working plan, yet it has been consciously done. It is very difficult to provide advice when none has been requested; however if you have the opportunity to mentor someone, do not let that opportunity pass. Mentoring is a two-way street and it benefits the mentor and the one mentored.

Here are some key points on how to become a mentor:

  1. Observe and Listen: Observing how people perform and what they say is a good way to identify potential in someone. Usually, people who are introverts also have great performance. These types of people usually associate success with end-results. What they don’t realize is the importance of verbal communication and networking. If you see someone like that, talk to that person. Ask about her/his interests. Let them know that if they need information or guidance, you are more than willing to help.
  2. Suggest extra-tasks: Most of the things that I have done in my professional life and that have been outside of my comfort zone, have been assigned to me as extraordinary tasks. I had no choice but to take on those responsibilities. My supervisors would say: “I need you to do this” or “you will be involved in or leading this project“.  They also highlighted that if I had questions or needed any support, not to hesitate to ask for it. They reinforced their confidence in my abilities to get the job done. Actually, one time, one of them said to me “I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. Go and get that job done!“. It was such an eye opener for me that I’ve never forgotten that moment.
  3. Performance reviews are a great tool to provide honest and well-intentioned feedback: Utilize performance reviews not only to go over end-results and new goals but also to discuss potential projects, areas of improvement, and how you can help that person make progress. You can also discuss and suggest other areas of work, lateral career moves, social activities, and potential professional organizations.

Being a mentor is a great privilege but also a huge responsibility. You can really have an impact on people’s careers. You can also an impact on the performance of the organization. I am convinced that employees feel more accountable and productive when they know and feel the organization cares about them.

I will always remember when I was a production supervisor and I had to convince people to work overtime. I always helped my employees on whatever they needed. I was always available to talk to them. Therefore, whenever the company needed them to work extra time, they always said that because I had been there for them, they were going to be there for me. I truly believe in leading by example.

As leaders, we need to have a commitment to continuous improvement. Sometimes we want the glamour of a job position and the money associated with it but we don’t want the greater purpose that goes with it.

Mentors are life-long friends, people that end up knowing you and being part of your success and your journey. My mentors are people that I truly feel grateful for and will forever be connected to.

Pass your knowledge to others. Teach and share your experiences. Connect with others on a deeper level. That’s part of being a leader. Go for it!

National Hispanic Corporate Council graduates 2015_feature

Advancing Hispanic corporate leaders from diversity into inclusion

The National Hispanic Corporate Council and SMU Cox Graduates Cohort of Potential Hispanic Corporate Leaders 2015.

The National Hispanic Corporate Council and SMU Cox Graduates Cohort of Potential Hispanic Corporate Leaders 2015

 

Despite national and regional organizations’ efforts, the continued lack of inclusion of Latinos in general –and Latinas in particular– in key corporate leading positions continues to be a matter of concern. According to the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) annual report, Hispanic inclusion on Fortune 500 boards still lags behind compared with other demographic groups at around three percent, and has remained almost untouched for the last three decades.

LatinasinBusiness.us (LIBizus) was born with the vision of advocating for the economic empowerment of Latinas in business and the workplace. Our goal is to promote, encourage and provide information and tools to ensure that Latinas receive the exposure and support they deserve for their participation and representation in the economic force of our country.

So when an organization such as the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC) announces that this year the Corporate Executive Development Program (CEDP), a leadership training that grooms Hispanic managers to ascend into corporate leadership roles, graduated the largest-ever number of participants in the history of the program, we pay attention.

“As the nation’s leading organization founded with the mission of maximizing our corporate members’ Hispanic market opportunity, NHCC is making a tremendous impact in working with Fortune 1000 companies to increase the pool of Hispanic executive leadership.  We are delighted to renew our partnership with the SMU Cox School of Business to offer CEDP in both 2016 and 2017,” said Octavio A. Hinojosa-Mier, NHCC Executive Director.

The program, established in 2011 by the NHCC and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU Cox), is the only national program specifically designed to increase the Hispanic executive talent pool for corporate America, according to its organizers.

SMU Cox School of Business

SMU Cox School of Business

NHCC and SMU Cox Executive Education developed CEDP for Hispanic employees identified by their corporate employers as potential executives for leadership roles. The nine-month program combines business and leadership coursework modules taught by nationally-recognized SMU Cox faculty. Many of the program graduates have already progressed to executive positions with Fortune 1000 companies.

“We are proud to partner with the NHCC in this continued effort to prepare Latino talent for corporate executive responsibilities,” said Frank Lloyd, associate dean of Executive Education at SMU Cox.  “CEDP graduates consistently deliver positive business results at high levels.”

Lloyd reported that 38 percent of the 110 participants across the five CEDP cohorts since 2011 have been Latinas. In 2015 alone, 12 participants were women. Involvement of Latinas in the five cohorts has ranged from 26 percent to 53 percent. “Latinas are well-represented in the CEDP, and their inclusion suggests that sponsoring companies are well aware of their management capabilities and potential,” he told LIBizus.

CEDP participants’ employers sponsoring them into the program are primarily Fortune 1000 companies. The fifth CEDP cohort led by Miguel Quiñones, the O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair in Organizational Behavior at SMU Cox, had 33 participants from a number of NHCC corporate member companies, including: Comcast NBCUniversal, Darden Restaurants, Marriott International, Shell, State Farm Insurance and Wal-Mart.

However, Lloyd said, Raza Development Fund, a non-profit organization that invests capital and creates financing solutions to increase opportunities for the Latino community, has also sponsored a participant in the last two programs.

SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi has waived the facility fees for the program.  That waiver entitles SMU to enroll one of its high potential Latino staff leaders in each rendition.  “SMU is therefore ‘walking the talk’ about developing Hispanic talent,” Lloyd made a remark.

Sponsorship and mentorship as main program components

Frank LLoyd SMU associate dean Executive Education

Frank LLoyd, SMU associate dean Executive Education

According to the SMU associate dean, potential participants enroll through an application process but each applicant must show support from their immediate supervisors, their top managers, and a senior human resources leader.

“Each participant’s management team has a stake in the participant’s success both during the program and afterwards,” Lloyd added. Moreover, he said, an advisory board comprised of senior talent, marketing, and diversity executives from selected sponsoring companies shares information about each firm’s selection criteria to ensure a rough peer group of participants in each program and to share best practices for their on-going support.

“While each company has its own process to support participants following the program, the application and advisory board processes encourage company ownership of the participants’ post-program success,” he told LIBizus.

Several program features support application of new learning and behavior change throughout the program and afterwards.  “For example, each participant is assigned a current or recently retired senior Latino executive as a mentor.  This established relationship enables them to receive coaching on applying program insights and tools to current workplace situations,” he explains.

Working with mentors also provides guidance for participants in preparing and executing personal development plans.  Some of these mentoring relationships continue after the program.

“In addition to mentoring relationships, each participant engages in a ‘360’ assessment process in which they receive behavior feedback from superiors, peers, and direct reports,” Lloyd noted.  During the program they receive instruction on how to use this feedback for improved job performance and career advancement.  Their mentors offer on-going guidance in this process as well.

Finally, the networks that participants establish among themselves provide a continuing resource after the program.  Trusted colleagues in other firms are available for informal consultation on work and career issues.

The CEDP has proven its goal of accelerating the progress of Latino high potentials to top corporate executive positions.  Of the over 100 CEDP alumni who’ve completed the program since 2011, more than 70 percent have achieved significant new responsibilities, often during the program.

The Cox school also provides tools to facilitate on-going application of learning and behavior change post-program participation.  “We maintain an on-line community of past participants.  We track participants’ movements as they achieve new career opportunities, and we share news in the community,” Lloyd said.

The program gives past participants the opportunity to serve as mentors to less experienced and lower level managers who enroll in a program for Rising Leaders.  Many are delighted to receive the opportunity to “give back” by lending a helping hand to a following group of Latino management talent.

As the economic power of the Hispanic market continues to grow, many companies still struggle to understand the full potential of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Positioning Latino and Latina leaders in high decision-making ranks ensures the company’s competitive advantage at maintaining and increasing their market share. Commitment to send their potential leaders to strategic training programs such as CEDP creates a safety net that attracts and empowers a diverse workforce while allowing rising Hispanic leaders to advance to the positions they deserve.