10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Latina Entrepreneur

As a new Latina entrepreneur, I felt inspired to share the hard lessons I learned from starting my coaching business. I wish someone had shared these valuable lessons with me before beginning this journey. I thought I’d share them with other Latinas who are thinking of starting their business to help save you years of confusion and struggle.

1. Build Your Foundation – Create a Business Plan

Before I committed to my current coaching practice, I dabbled with being a spiritual coach. Unfortunately, during that time, I was exposed to many so-called entrepreneurs who told me I had to use their services to make money. The reality is that new entrepreneurs don’t know what they don’t know. Because of this, it’s really easy for them to become lost in the process, like spending years doing things that will not help them move forward or become prey to people who want to take advantage of them.

I spent years thinking I needed to take this and that course to be a successful entrepreneur when in reality, I needed a business plan.

Everything for me changed once I finally created my business plan. It did the following:

  • Helped me think about what I was doing.
  • Allowed me to test my idea to see if it was needed and marketable.
  • Helped me explore my competitors and how to make myself stand out from them.
  • Helped me create and see a 360 view of my business idea and create a path that felt realistic to follow.

My business plan also included financials, which changed everything for me. I also got my business plan reviewed by a professional in the financial industry from a large bank. Having that extra approval made me feel more confident about committing to this path.

Also, if you plan to get a loan for your business, you will need a business plan. Financial institutions want to see that you thought your business idea through before they give you money. Having a business plan is how you’ll show them you thought this through.

Business plans are the foundation of your business. It’s what you’ll use to keep you on track, and it will help you remove any confusion or doubts about your business. You need this if you’re an entrepreneur. Many states have organizations that help entrepreneurs create their business plans. I highly suggest a quick Google search to see if this is available!

2. Know Your Financials

One of the biggest fears I had before I started my coaching business is that I didn’t know if I could make a living doing this. So, one massive part of my business plan was that I had to look at this. Finally, I could see how much it would cost me to run my business and use this data to create financial projections. Doing this changed everything for me! It helped me see that I could make enough money to live comfortably. Being able to see this on paper helped me feel better about moving forward with building my business.

3. You’ll Only Be Spending A Small Chunk Doing What You Love

Many entrepreneurs start their businesses because they have a passion for something. Sadly many of them don’t realize they won’t be spending as much time doing what they love in the beginning.

Marketing, networking, and getting the word out about your work will take up most of your time. The rest of the time will be spent on taking care of other parts of your business. When you start to make enough money to justify the extra expense, you might want to hire someone who can take on some of these tasks on. This is how you’ll find the time to pursue what you love.

pexels karolina grabowska 4467735 scaled Monica O. Duarte

4. Don’t Quit Your Job

It’s easy to idolize the idea of working for yourself and not having to work for someone else. You might even consider quitting your job because you think you’ll make lots of money as soon as you start your business.

My advice is don’t do it! Unless you have an emergency fund of some sort – keep your job. Or you can do what I did and work as an independent contractor –for example, I also do creative work – so you’ll still work for yourself and have a stable income while you build your business.

Here’s the reality, unless you have a lot of connections, investors, or a comfortable amount in savings – it’s going to take time to make money when you start out. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a situation where you have that added pressure to make money when you’re beginning your journey and you don’t have any funds to keep you afloat.

If you’re considering getting a loan, this will also be a red flag to financial institutions. They want to know that you’re a reliable customer that can continue payments if anything happens. They most likely won’t let you borrow money if you don’t have a steady cash flow.

5. Be Cautious of Buying Too Many Courses

Before I started my journey of creating my business plan, I believed that I needed to learn different things to begin. So I spent a lot of money buying courses I didn’t even finish.

Looking back, I wish I had kept my money because many of those courses didn’t do anything for me and only caused more confusion, stress, and overwhelm. Instead of this unnecessary step, I should have realized that having a solid business plan is what would help me the most.

6. Starting a Business is Hard

Again, people glamorize the idea of working for themselves. They think that because they have a passion, they can use that energy to make lots of money but don’t realize how much work it is to make money.

Building a business will be hard. You’ll have to dedicate a lot of time and effort and be okay with getting very little back in the beginning. At least in my industry – it takes at least one year for coaches to start making decent money. And this is if they have the proper support and don’t give up. So, know that if you feel like this is a lot of work – it’s normal to feel that way.

Latina photos blog 24 Monica O. Duarte

7. Everything is Research

As a new business owner, you must see everything as research and stay in the mindset of being curious. The reality is that when you’re starting, you might be making projections and even assumptions about your target market and your financials.

It’s not until you put your business plan into practice that you’ll get to see if what you’re doing works. If it seems like nothing is working – take that as information, and try something else. Notice what works, and keep doing that. So, for example, if you created a video on social media and it did poorly, maybe the topic you chose didn’t resonate with people. It might be the presentation. Staying in that curious mindset will also help you from taking things personally, and this will help you keep moving forward.

8. Watch Out for Coaches That Claim They Can Help You Make Lots of Money in a Short Period of Time

Many coaches will promise to help you make six or seven figures within the first few months. Be cautious with them. Starting a business takes time, and so does making lots of money.

Success hardly ever happens overnight. These coaches won’t show you all the years and effort they had to put into making the money they make. Some don’t even make that much or have no clue what they are talking about themselves.

9. Starting a Business is a Journey That Will Challenge You to Grow

A lot of inner fears and mental blocks will show up. It’s a part of the journey. This is why it’s important that you don’t do this alone and get the support you need to help you overcome these internal obstacles. I personally did a lot of inner work and healed from a lot of trauma before I started putting myself out there. Because of that, I feel more confident and prepared for this path.

Even then, I still get doubts and fears that show up sometimes, and it’s been so helpful when they show up to go to my team of exceptional coaches and therapists that help me process what’s showing up. Doing this has been vital, so I don’t give up on my dream. Overcoming my internal obstacles helped me stay focused on my goals.

10. Entrepreneurship is a Way of Thinking and Being – It’s Not for Everyone

It takes more than having a passion to start a business. Being an entrepreneur is a way of thinking and being. If you’re starting a business because you want to make lots of money that might not keep you going for long. There has to be a much deeper purpose.

Many entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because they can’t see themselves working for someone else; they’re courageous free thinkers who like to challenge themselves to grow. It takes a particular kind of person to take on this responsibility and keep going. There’s a reason not everyone can be an entrepreneur. But if you think you can do it, I encourage you to try.

Article originally published in Epifania Magazine on November 28, 2022

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