Like a lot of Latinas, hustling is in my DNA. From slanging pencils in the classroom, to figuring out how many more post-college side hustles I can juggle before I implode. Hija de tu Madre is just ONE of my many hustles in this 28 year old jefa lifespan.
I've failed. I've learned a ton. And I've cried A LOT. Here are my 5 lessons / tips / hacks / straight up "GIRL DO NOT DO THAT" advice for aspiring jefas:
1. First piece of advice: Stop asking for advice.
I know, I know, this is a HARD pill to swallow. But trust me. Actually, trust YOURSELF. Once you start validating your ideas, knowledge and skills you won't feel so insecure and needy for outside validation, which can be pretty distracting.
I've found myself lost in the entrepreneur meetups, conferences, talks, etc. looking for that seasoned someone to give me the validation and insight I couldn't give myself. I so desperately wanted a stranger, who knew absolutely nothing about me or my business, to give me some esoteric knowledge and enlightenment that would somehow magically change the trajectory of my company. And guess what? That never happened. Why? Because NO ONE knows your company or idea like YOU.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with seeking help or expertise. Please consult professionals! My point is, we often feel so insecure that we pause doing the work, building our dreams, acting on our plan, etc. so that we can seek validation for our own ambitions. My advice (LOL), you're better off investing your time in the work and not in the pursuit for advice. Basically: Doing the work > looking for advice.
2. Find your accountability squad.Being an entrepreneur is SAD. No but for real, it's emotionally taxing, soul sucking and often times extremely lonely. LOL SO FUN! So, it's crucial that you identify a community (IRL or online) that can provide you with support.
Sometimes you just need someone to vent to! Luckily, I've developed incredible friendships with fellow entrepreneurs. They've been awesome friends, my sounding board, AND great accountability partners. It's challenging to hold yourself accountable, ESPECIALLY as a solo entrepreneur. You're going to need someone to remind you of all the things you said you would do. Build your crew of ambitious entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of, as well as keep you liable of your own goals.
3. Build your toolkit.
In case you haven't already noticed, our HDTM community is made up of a TON of Jefas. We want to support your Jefa journey, whether you're just planting that little seed or you're far along in your career. We've designed the tools to keep you inspired, motivated and productive. We are ALLERGIC to boring stationary. I cannot tolerate bleh notebooks, so we've developed a solution, the Jefa Toolkit!
Every 2 months, you can get all of these delivered straight to your Jefa palace. Stickers, notebooks, pens- OH SNAP! Check out our Jefa Toolkit HERE!
4. Welcome the failure.
Okay, this tip is especially hard for me (Virgos can dish it, but they can't take it). And without sounding like a Herbalife motivational speaker, it's about the journey, not the destination.
It's important to remember that you're gonna lose... a lot. You're gonna fuck up... a lot. And most importantly, things will NOT go your way every time (this makes my Virgo blood boil). Every fuck up is an opportunity to do better. Easier said than done, right?
Being a jefa is not lattes and sparkly Kira Kira filters. It's ugly. So with that said, don't forget to practice radical kindness towards yourself. Welcome the failure, but also welcome the kindness you deserve. You're investing your time and energy all into your hustle, but who's investing in you? Don't be like me, and spend 3 years losing sight of your needs and soul because your rude-ass business came first.
You are only one person, probably doing the jobs of 15 people. Bish, you work hard. Take a nap.
5. No one cares (no, but seriously).
I don't know who needs to hear this but, NO ONE CARES. When I look back at all my mess ups and meltdowns, I remember that literally NO ONE CARED.
You're the jefa, you're fully immersed in every single aspect of the hustle. With that said, no one is going to be as affected by the mistakes you make like YOU. No one will sue you because you're behind schedule, or because you made a typo, or because you didn't reply to an email in 24 hours. The stressful need to beat the clock is usually self-imposed. And the pressure you feel, is often a choice. So stop that!
My company will not self-combust if I don't finish everything on my productivity to-do list in a day. And the guilt and shame I have for not feeling "productive enough" is actually unproductive. Funny how that works, huh?
I've also learned that people are REALLY forgiving. Be honest and transparent, and you'd be surprised with how supportive your customers and clients will be. You're not a machine, you're a person, remember?
* * *Now that I dumped all these gems on you, fly little Jefa, FLYYY! Just remember, you're not alone. We admire you for taking control of your future and acting on your dreams. Keep us posted on your journey here! Let us know how we can help you, we wanna see you WIN!