In the last year, I have had the opportunity to work with various women as they venture out into the world and dare to dream big by starting their own companies. These women have left a mark in my life and every time I write a post, they are the ones I remember before hitting “enter”. To my surprise, they have trusted me with their ideas and allowed me to contribute to their beloved projects. Being in a start-up company is very different from working for an established corporation because there is still a sense of romance and risk in the air. You are there because you believe in the idea not because it was handed down to you by someone in upper management.
Each experience has contributed to my growth as an employee, a writer, and a person. Take a look:
Alexandra Perez (Founder of Bari Studio): This crazy fox is a feisty one. Alexandra is a perfectionist but I never met a boss whose criticism I wanted to hear more. This tough cookie really makes feedback easy to hear because there is very little emotion wrapped up in what she is telling you. There were many times that Alexandra requested things from me that I wasn’t sure I could do but her feedback and patience made me feel like I was capable of getting the job done. She saw it, I didn’t but project by project, I found my way.
Lesson: Be open about criticism. Allow it to be constructive and never make it personal. A great manager will not focus on what you know but rather on your potential. Most of us are oblivious to our own potential so people like these can be game changers.
Estefania Lacayo (Founder of Edition01): The classy lady. From day one, Estefania has been nothing but inspiration. I’ve never met anyone so eager to be inspired and to inspire. Her conversations are full of life, color, and style. A few months ago, I had a conversation with Estefania about me leaving NY. She was whimsical about the city and it reminded me why I had come to the magical island in the first place. Estefania is one of the most stimulating people I have worked with. When I work on her projects, I do not focus on the result, I just enjoy the process. I make an effort to find the beauty in it.
Lesson: Inspire people. Be whimsical. Imagination is better, more beautiful. Dare to dream in color. You’ll rub off on those around you
Mariella Borza (Founder of M Borza Jewelry): The graceful trooper. My sister has literally dabbled in every industry there is and has actually been quite good across the board. She recently decided to start her own jewelry line after years of doing it under the radar. Mariella has been persistent in looking for something that she loves. She is a fighter and backs down to no one. If she finds out that something wasn’t for her, she focuses on another interest and begins to do her homework.
Lesson: Stop worrying about bumps in the road. Be persistent. There is no timeline, life is not a race. If you want something, do your homework. Be a graceful trooper. Lipstick and all.
Marcella Chamorro (Consultant): My mentor. Marcella has taught me a very simple lesson: press enter. Write your heart out, feel the fear and press enter. It’s the only way to work.
I’d love to hear about lessons that you have picked up along the way. Please feel free to send over/comment.
I hope you have the loveliest of Fridays.
my love affair with lady start-ups