What have you found are the pros and cons of being your own boss?
Personally, there are tons of upsides, as I work very well independently. However, the real PROS in my line of work is that I get to be the catalyst and the witness to seeing development and growth in individuals up close. I can’t think of anything else more delightful and fulfilling than seeing your labour reflected in someone else’s dreams coming true. The CONS would be… absolute accountability. If something goes well, it is your fault. If something does not go well, it is also your fault. Are you ready for extreme ownership of your actions and thoughts? I can tell you I definitely wasn’t when I first started.
What has been the most challenging moment of your project or business? How did you overcome it?
It might sound like a total telenovela. But here it goes! At the beginning of my business, where I put forth the huge risk to invest everything I had, I became homeless. My boyfriend of two years broke up with me because my “little project” was not working and he was “tired” of it (and also probably of me, haha). He also proceeded to kick me out of the house where we were living together. I didn’t have anywhere to go, as I didn’t have many close friends in Mexico City at the time. On top of all this, I was also too ashamed to ask my parents for money. I would not eat for days and figured I would call it “dieting”. All I had were my clothes, laptop and a handful of clients who had just signed up with me. I didn’t have money to transport so I walked everywhere. This was definitely a challenging period and I constantly distracted myself from being discouraged by focusing on work. I prospected for more clients, stopped undercharging and asked for referrals. My mantra at the time was “this was only a temporary situation” and “this too shall pass”. A few months later, it did – which was a lot quicker than I thought!
Who was an important figure during this process? How did they support you?
As you can probably guess from my previous answer, I didn’t have a lot of people who believed in my business when I first started. My parents were skeptical and asked why I don’t just come back to Canada and work at the bank again. The first set of clients that asked about my services constantly tried to ask for discounts or tried to get me to do my work for less as if my time was not valuable. Luckily, I have two faithful friends who took care of me at this time and constantly reminded me of what they saw in me when we first met. They pushed me to keep going and told me that failure is not an option. For these two people, I am truly grateful. I also listened to Tony Robbins non-stop at this time. I would dream about his speeches and conferences. I also re-read all the self-help and motivational books I owned, one that helped me, in particular, was the very first self-help book I ever read (when I was 13!) – “Psychology of Winning” by Dr. Dennis Waitley. I am also a very proud person, so I thought about not giving my “non-believers” the satisfaction of watching me fail.
What is the most important learning you take from this stage of your life?
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. I know it sounds like something you may have heard before, but it is SO TRUE. Never in my life would I have thought I would move to a country where I don’t know anyone nor speak the language and start a coaching business. I never thought I would learn Spanish, or even speak a fourth language like I do now (currently learning Arabic). I also grew to appreciate the fact that all the limits I knew were the ones I kept placing on myself. Why was I so silly?
Have you ever suffered from “impostor syndrome”? If so, how did you overcome it?
Oh, BIG TIME. I feel like someone will bust in during one of my workshops or public conferences and say “HA! I GOT YOU!”. Then they will drag me away to some type of horrible “Imposter jail” where I shall rot forever in misery. Your mind is a curious place. This place does not exist nor will this ever happen. Whenever this happens, I start drinking wine (Just kidding). Usually, meditation and visualization have helped a lot. I think of all my clients’ faces light up as we make a breakthrough. I think of all the times I spoke in front of hundreds of people who were hanging onto my every word and thanking me after. There has to be something I am doing right. I can’t let my insecurities rob others from receiving the help they need.
What is your perspective or philosophy regarding uncertainty or the unknown?
People often fear the unknown so much that it paralyzes them from taking action. It cripples them so much to a point where they rather complain and fold to the crushing pressures of mediocrity. It frustrates them because, deep down, they know they deserve better. But let me ask you this in return. If the unknown is that you may not succeed, what if I told you that the unknown is that you could and WILL succeed? And BIG. Beyond your wildest dreams. Would you be okay with yourself not taking action knowing this was also an option?
If you could give some advice to yourself a few years ago, what would you tell yourself?
“Deep down, you know exactly what you are capable of. There are even moments where you get a glimpse of all the potential you have. You can get there. You just have to be willing to sacrifice the habits, things, people and situations that are standing in the way of your success”
Is there a book, article or podcast that has helped you during this stage?
The podcast “Science of Success” by Matt Bodnar. Go listen to it 🙂
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
You are not alone. I thought I was all alone in my experiences until I realized it was just a natural cycle of entrepreneurship and striking out on your own. If you ever think you are, come find me!