[Spotlight] Latina Entrepreneur Of The Month

Latina Entrepreneur

I am beyond thrilled to unveil my new Monthly Series: [SPOTLIGHT] Latina Entrepreneur Of The Month

– where I get the chance to share with all you ladies the journey of someone who was in your shoes at one point, took the leap and has gone from Full-Time Employee to Entrepreneur.

And to debut this awesome series, I would like to present to you Lisa Rodriguez from Next Level VA.

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Tell me a little about you and your business. How would you describe it?

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Next Level Consulting & Virtual Assistance provides new and experienced entrepreneurs with a two-pronged approach to building / expanding their business. We help our clients gain clarity with respect to their vision for their business – and provide them with development of a long-term strategy. Then we EXECUTE this strategy by providing them with a high level of virtual support in the form of website/graphic design, copy writing, social media marketing and much more!

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Why did you start Next Level VA? What was the pivoting point?

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I actually started Next Level after attending a coaching certification course. I flew from NY to California to get certified as a coach – and came back home to NY with an idea for a completely different business! Only me! I always enjoyed connecting with people, learning about them – and providing them with support – so coaching was a natural fit, or so I thought. After sitting in a room with 70 other people who were all going to be new coaches, I quickly realized none of them knew anything about setting up basic business infrastructure, setting up a website, getting a newsletter up and running…etc.

My life in corporate America was going to serve me very well. After a year, I was basically unemployable. No one would hire anyone who had been out of the game as long as I had.

There was no turning back. This had to work.

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How long have you been in business?

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5 years this past May.

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What has been your biggest challenge in transitioning from Full Time Employee to Full Time Entrepreneur?

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Letting go of that employee mindset. When you are a full time entrepreneur, you need to take ownership. You have to stop thinking like an “employee” and start thinking as a “business owner” would. The bottom line is if you don’t do it, or delegate it – it’s not getting done. That can be very overwhelming at first. A set schedule and time management is critical to this process. All of a sudden there isn’t going to be a paycheck at the end of the week – you need to CREATE that income!

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What advice do you have for other creative women who are looking to support themselves from their work?

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DO IT, DON’T FEAR IT! I should have left corporate YEARS before, but I kept listening to that little voice inside that kept me playing a much smaller game. You all have special and amazing gifts which were given to you by God and were meant to be shared with the world. Get a coach, join a mastermind group – and hone your skills. I am self-taught. There was no “extra” for classes. I took out a whole lotta library books and learned/taught myself! Trust yourself and all things are possible.

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If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, tools, books, coaches] you’d recommend to other women starting a business, which would you include and why?

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Three of the women entrepreneurs who have inspired me the most since the very beginning – Ali Brown, Fabienne Frederickson and Sandi Krakowski. All three women BUILT their businesses the hard way. They pushed through all of the hardships they faced and came out on the other side – stronger and willing to help inspire and empower thousands of other women entrepreneurs. They all offer incredibly valuable, yet affordable tools and training made for just about every budget out there. You can’t go to any of their websites and NOT learn something! Tons of free tools and resources as well.

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What are 3 things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?

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  • There is NO JOB out there for you to fall back on – make it work!
  • Just breathe – the money will come. Every step you make brings you closer to your dream – YOU DESERVE IT!
  • Dad is watching over you and he is so proud.

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What is the wildest thing you have done in order to make this work?

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I am embarrassed to say I frequently took on work I really didn’t know how to do in the beginning, just to make ends meet. Then I would pull all-nighters learning a new application to get the job done.

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What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

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I would have a bit more money saved up before I started my business, so I could have hired a coach to offer guidance and accountability. I really believe had this been the case, I would have moved further along in my business with a lot less stress had I had a coach who had already been there and done that. I also would have expanded my services earlier by bringing on more staff. It took me awhile to realize I didn’t have to know EVERYTHING. I could hire people who knew the skills I had not yet mastered – and still earn money!

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What action do you want the reader to take?

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Sit down with pen and paper. Close your eyes and visualize the life you want to create for yourself and your family. See yourself earning the money to do so. Now write down your business ideas/goals. Hire a coach, or find a mentor who has done it already and is successful. Now move forward and be coach-able. Don’t try and re-create the wheel. See your plan ahead of you and don’t skip steps. And with each small success, be grateful. I promise there will be a day when you will be able to look back, smile and help the next person find their way. Full circle.

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Lisa spent 25 years in Corporate America, working as an executive assistant at the “C” level, and dreaming of the day when she could make her own hours and not have a salary cap. When she was downsized in 2008, she realized the opportunity had finally arrived.

Next Level Consulting & Virtual Assistance is a small business consulting and virtual assistance firm that specializes in helping coaches, consultants, speakers and other online entrepreneurs create productive businesses, while maximizing their internet presence and revenues. Collectively our background spans over 24 years as both office and virtual professionals providing administrative and business support. Our team consists of virtual professionals, HTML specialists, graphic designers and WordPress experts – whose primary objective is to show initiative and play more of a “partner” role vs. simply taking care of specific tasks.

Find out more: nextlevel-va.com



Abrazos,

Jennifer

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Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.

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About The Author

Jennifer Kent

Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.