Meet the Final 10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

OMG, we cannot believe that we are finally introducing you to our last 10 Powerful Latina Trailblazers. 💃

The response via IG, LinkedIn, and FB has been superb. We are so happy to see that many have joined us in celebrating #hispanicheritagemonth and #femaleempowerment by sharing the posts, commenting, and liking them. Thank you!

When we lift each other, we grow! You can continue to join us in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women by following on IG @beproductivecoaching and on FB @beproductivecoaching and reposting the project with your community in your stories or feed.

This week we have seen women in the arts, entertainment, corporate world, founders and entrepreneurs, creatives, and activists, and today you’ll meet women in legal, healthcare, public accounting, education, and public service.💪

These Powerful Latina Trailblazers are all experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. These women have all accomplished this and more.🙌

I hope that this project has inspired and motivated you to support the people you know, follow YOUR dreams, and do what YOU love.

Each of the women was asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some great quotes and life lessons that we know you will enjoy.

You can read the full responses from these powerful Latinas below.⬇️

Missed the first 20? No worries…just jump on over to the blog post from Tue & Wed below.⬇️

Stay tuned as we wrap up tomorrow, Friday. I’ll be sharing a bit of my personal 2020 journey with you and the inspiration behind this project.

Together we rise!🙌

#latinxheritagemonth #latinatrailblazers #femaleleaders #juntassomosmasfuertes #letsgetlatinxloudion

 

I’ve been able to maintain balance in my life by staying active and participating in my online church. I never stopped working during the pandemic if anything I worked a lot more. So doing things that made me happy and having faith to keep me grounded helped me get through all the stress that came with working in healthcare this year. Follow on IG:@crysmarie._

 

2020 started with a roar; it was going to be the best year ever.  But when things changed almost overnight, the hardest thing for me (as a Type A personality) was not being able to plan for the future. So I realized quickly that I could only work on things that I could control and trust that everything else would/will work out. Plus, I realized that I had to be more flexible and open to doing things differently, along with being more compassionate/forgiving with myself and others while we all learn to navigate this new normal.  From zoom meeting faux pas to dogs jumping on your lap during a client meeting, all we can do is smile and keep moving forward. Visit her website at www.ser-associates.com Follow on IG: @ser_associates

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was overwhelmed not only by the personal factors of risk but also by the many changes that were coming my way as a CPA. There were many regulations changes with the Cares Act, every business needed our assistance as their CPA, if they were going to survive, they needed guidance in how to complete the PPP and SBA loans, which instructions were changing every day. For 2 days, I was speechless and powerless, but I had to get myself up and start learning and start zooming. This was the time for me to help every client, and to make sure that they would not only survive but also be on their way to striving again as a business owner. Every business and every person, are part of a big chain and if one of us does not survive the rest will also break from the chain. Visit her website www.mariafdiazcpa.com Follow on IG @mariafdiazcpa

I feel lucky to have been able to continue doing what I love to do during this time. My office never closed during the crisis, because as a health care provider we needed to continue providing our services to our patients. If we close as a health care provider where will patients turn to to get better? What we did for the community was to open the platform of our care to include zoom classes, get together, and meditations. This was it also opened the avenue to those people that lived far from us but we’re still in need of receiving those services for their overall wellbeing and mental sanity. We wanted to do a community give-back program, where we offered our healing circle and meditation classes for free. Stepping in to help the best we could our community and those in need during this turbulent time. By incorporating exercises, meditation, and healing into my day-to-day as well as offering that to those in need I’ve been able to stay healthy and balanced and productive during this time. Visit her website www.minsuhealingoasis.com Follow on IG:@mdhealer

 

I do daily devotions and a gratitude journal, all of this allows me to be positive and productive. I start my days doing my daily 2-mile walk; listening to the Divine of Mercy Chaplet as I walk and then Christian music; I do my daily devotions and my gratitude journal, all of this allows me to be positive and productive during my day, on the days that something interrupts that routine I can feel unbalance and not as productive.  This 2020 pandemic has allowed me to really reflect on the blessings in my life, even though I have challenges, but I am grateful for the challenges. I remind myself that with God All Things Are Possible. Connect on LinkedIn:@linkedin.com/in/marina-g-wood-0199443/

 

2020 has really thrown a curveball in everyone’s life but sometimes the show must go on… “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” right?!? I never had a quarantine period so I just kept trying to do my best to keep my normal routine up!!! I also basically upped my meditation and prayer game and now I include saying a few things I’m grateful for every morning before I get up!!! I also found reaching out to others, whether it be coworkers and or friends via video apps ( thank goodness for a house party) was helpful to see that I wasn’t the only one having a hard time emotionally, socially, or physically!!! Family and friends listening and taking care of me virtually have really gotten me through!!! Follow on IG @joannemarie17

 

Staying productive in 2020 hasn’t been difficult at all. I have a toddler who needs a lot of attention and I have stayed busy teaching him, playing with him, and making sure that all his needs are met. When he naps, I have been productive by staying busy at home cleaning, cooking, starting new home projects, entering a new side business, and exercising. I usually travel for the summer since I am a teacher and I am off, but the Coronavirus has kept me home and I have made it a priority to make sure I stay productive. I have stayed positive by counting my blessings and praying for my family. These are trying times we are going through but I have learned, and I am a believer that we should not stress the things we have no control over. Having the opportunity to spend all this time with my son has kept me positive! I have maintained my life balance by continuing to exercise, staying in contact with family and friends, either by phone calls, drive by’s or zoom calls, and continuing my self-care practices of doing my nails and eyebrows. =) We cannot forget through the struggle, to continue doing things that make us happy! Follow on IG @its_me_yamaris

Note from Vimari: You may or may have noticed the similarities in our names. Yamaris is my younger sister of which I am extremely proud of. Something additional that I’d like to share is that Yamaris #eslaprimera in the family to graduate from college and get her Master’s degree in Education. She makes everyone in the family proud. 👏💪

 

IM Kahlo boosts confidence, self-expression, and behaviors that build the courage to overcome life challenges and limitations.

The name is inspired by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, whose life became a testament to the notion that we can transcend external limitations to define a new scope of possibilities.  Her tenacity also inspires us to express what we feel, fear, and want, hence I am Kahlo.

The initial purpose was to help women ages 13 and up endure the not-widely-known side effects caused by cancer treatment that leave a negative mark on a patient’s state of mind, like the loss of eyebrows and lashes, and the potential damage of skin and teeth. Working with these patients, and as a patient myself, I identified another need: We need to learn how to celebrate life by talking about death. As a life transitions coach & end-of-life doula, I advocate for patient rights and work with people, not only cancer patients, in getting comfortable talking about death and sharing their end of life wishes with their loved ones. Legacy projects and advanced directives are only a part of this preparedness planning. I also co-admin an online support group for cancer patients coping with life transitions. Most of my professional life I worked with corporate crisis communications, so this 2020 project is like turning the preparedness concept to a personal level.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I worked with Compassion & Choices. In developing the COVID-19 toolkit, an end of life planning guide in English & Spanish to promote compassionate and informed end-of-life care plan amid new challenges in our healthcare system. I am also a guest speaker in different webinars discussing topics such as demonstrating power in end-of-life planning. Under IM KAHLO, I’ve held several inspirational talks for the American Lung Association. I also consult for GoCrisis, an international crisis and emergency management firm currently expanding to the Americas.

During COVID, I like to lead by example. I exercise at home, do yoga, read, keep in touch with my friends, design TShirt, go to my treatments, and take my time to heal and rest. 🙂 A stage IVB diagnosis is not a death sentence; it is a life ticket. ¡Viva la Vida! Visit her website www.BrowsLashesHope.org Follow on IG: @pr_in_Miami and @lifetransitioncoach 

 

I approached 2020 with newly identified goals and desires for my two businesses. I believe whole-heartedly if we want to produce change-we must first be willing to manifest and walk out into change first. I began the year by analyzing and most importantly self-reflecting my own leadership. My goals must align with who I am and who I’m becoming. Our business and desires are a direct reflection of who we are.  I wanted to learn from each passing month. I desired deeply to originate a program that would be fully energized and birth from my leadership and past experiences.  Identifying what platform I was currently operating from was my first priority. I wanted my platform to create a path, an option where women and young ladies can walk into empowerment and utilize their voices as they redefine their pain into power.  I realized in order to birth such a path of realness and genuineness fueled for empowerment, I would have to first experience the healing. I accepted to walk in Self Acceptance of my past. There is a level of oneness when you can share with another woman “I empathize with you”, “I have been here”.  Having the courage to truly reach the depths of where our traumas are stored. My productivity began with scheduling and participating in Healing and SELF LOVE courses. Focusing on directly rooted traumas, week after week.  As I walked in acceptance and completed course after course, I began to attract the woman who was aligned with my energy, a woman who was ready to heal from past childhood traumas. Focusing on my past childhood traumas allowed me to actually forgive the past negative self-talk I ever presented to myself when and if I fell behind on deadlines, simply didn’t have the head to focus, or felt many times unmotivated.  I realized that my productivity was affected consistently for many years due to childhood trauma.  As each week came to pass and I would complete a new course, I also would feel the intense feeling of love for myself while healing and creating a genuine energized healing-self love course. Although the journey was strong it has been well worth it. A woman who can acknowledge who she is, what she has un-become with a direct focus on her self-love and mental health, is a woman who understands her strength, courage, abilities, and warmth. A woman who can have gentle talks with herself, a forgiving heart for herself, a strong mind is a woman who has learned above all how to respect her own boundaries. This is a woman or young lady who will conquer dreams, goals, productivity while remaining positive and in awe with the internal strength of a woman. My two businesses focus directly but individually on Mental Health and Wellness. Visit her website www.growingintorealleaders.org Follow on IG: @yadira_fiercelybecoming and @girl_leaders

 

Believe it or not, spending time with the kids and my childcare team at Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy while being in the forefront of the COVID-19 response as President of the Miami-Dade League of Cities brightened my every day! In 2020, I rediscovered that my gift and purpose is being a public servant—in every aspect of my life: as a military wife, childcare business owner, and Mayor, I give back and place the needs of others before mine and that’s always my happy place!

Ayden Alexander, hadn’t seen me in 2 months and this was him when he saw me – you can’t make up this love and happiness 🥰 Visit her website www.msclaudias.com Follow on IG @mayorofelportal and @msclaudias

Note from Vimari: I met Claudia in 2014 at a networking event when we were sitting at the same table by coincidence. She had been serving on the Village Council for El Portal, where I have lived since 2005, but that was the first time I remember meeting her. She told me at that event that she was going to be running for Mayor that November. I scheduled a meeting to drill her (😊) on why she was running, and by the end of our meeting, I decided that I would support her.

A few weeks later, I opened my home to my neighbors and invited them to come over to meet then Councilperson Claudia Cubillos. This was my first time ever supporting a candidate and hosting this type of event. At that event, I was convinced that she should be our next Mayor. I volunteered to help her campaign, although I had no prior experience. Mayor Claudia Cubillos was elected Nov 2014 and asked me to Chair her Mayor’s Task Force. I didn’t know what that meant, but I decided, why not? I took on the opportunity and recruited approx nine others to join our Task Force. The Task Force agreed that “community engagement” should be our focus and that we could accomplish that through events. We looked at our demographics and decided that an art fair would be an excellent fit for the community and so the El Portal Art Fair was born. I had my meeting planning company at the time, and being the Chair of the event was a natural fit. We hosted our first Art Fair in 2015 and many other events.

In 2016, I saw a need within our Council and, in August, decided to challenge the incumbent and ran for Council Seat #2, and I won. Since 2016, I have served two terms (4-years) with Mayor Cubillos. I have to say that it has been an extreme honor to serve with a woman that genuinely places her community’s needs before her own. She has sacrificed a lot in the 12 years in office and is truly an example of what one can achieve when we serve. In addition to being a fierce leader, she has the honor of carrying the title of being #laprimera Hispanic Mayor of El Portal. Mayor Cubillos decided not to seek re-election in 2020 (as did I). I want to take this time to thank her for the years of service to our community. I am proud to call her my friend and include her as one of the amazing and powerful Latina Trailblazers celebrating this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Thank you, Mayor!

Mental Fitness PQ – What it’s done for my life and practice

Mental Fitness PQ Graduates Last year, when the world came to a halt, I was amid rebranding my company. The timing couldn’t be more perfect on April 15th when I launched my new website, and everyone was sitting at home with plenty of time to visit. My website analytics went through the roof, and I [...]

Whom do you need to forgive today?

“Forgiveness will unleash a power in your life that is underrated and often ignored.”   – Allen R. Hunt – Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody With forgiveness comes growth and grace for yourself and others. When we forgive others we are removing negativity from our hearts and minds.   I’ve truly never been one to hold grudges, anger, or bitterness in […]

Meet the Next 10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

We are overwhelmed with the response received from this #hispanicheritagemonth project and want to thank everyone for their comments, likes, and shares. We are excited to introduce these next 10 Powerful Latina Trailblazers. 

This project has been a labor of love and coordinating 30 Latina’s is no easy task. Still, these amazing women were just as excited as I was to celebrate our heritage and each other. Thank you to my hubby and our Marketing Coordinator, Adilyn, for helping me bring this project to you.

When we lift each other, we grow! You can join us in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women by sharing this project with your community via social media (links to share on Facebook and Twitter below). 👇

These Powerful Latina Trailblazers are all experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. The Latina’s that I am introducing to you this week have all accomplished this successfully. 💪

I hope that this project inspires and motivates others to support one another, follow their dreams, and do what they love, even during these trying times.

Each of the women was asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some great quotes and life lessons, that we know you will enjoy. You can read their full responses to their amazing 2020 journey below.

Missed the first 10? No worries…just jump on over to the blog post from yesterday below.

Stay tuned as we’ll be back tomorrow, introducing you to the last 10, and on Friday, I’ll be sharing a bit of my personal 2020 journey and the inspiration behind this project.

Cheers,
Vimari

#hispanicheritagemonth #latinx #latinas

The pandemic brought me to my knees. In other words, it kicked my butt. I witnessed one of my biggest sources of revenue disappear in 30 days as all my live events for 2020 got canceled by April. I had to quickly switch the focus of my business to my digital product and find a way to offer and serve more female entrepreneurs that needed more than ever to get clients. However, there was an energy of impending doom in the environment that was precluding most entrepreneurs to act and a leap of faith into digital courses and coaching. It’s like the whole world wanted to be on a “pause” estate when all I wanted was for them to push “play”. So I got discouraged, I felt defeated after working for 8 years to build a business from scratch and crushing every single goal I set for myself, my confidence had taken a hit and I no longer trusted my decision-making as an entrepreneur because everything I was doing did not seem to be working under the current paradigm. I lost the fire in my soul, gained about 12 pounds from all the COVID snacks and cocktails, and felt pretty much defeated. And then I took a week vacation that became a month vacation on which I connected with nature and reached out for help to go inwards to discover what I really wanted. And what came out of that was connecting again with the sense of significance that I have always chased. It has never been about money or having a book full of clients. It has always been about feeling relevant and being an inspiration to other women, most importantly moving women into action.

After I was forced to slow down, I stopped looking at the answers outwards and looked inwards. During that time, I decided to challenge myself to feel and looking like the person I wanted to be. To ditch all the bad COVID coping mechanisms and focus on me. I took on a pretty ambitious online challenge that required me to work out twice a day, drink a gallon of water every day, read 10 pages of a self-development book daily, follow a healthy diet of my choice, quit alcohol, and take daily pictures of my exposed body. No more numbing, no more escaping, this was me with me and the pictures reminded me of how far I have worked myself to the ground trying to accomplish the things that “others” were accomplishing as evidenced in social media.

I have been working on my self-development for years now and this situation got me into going deeper. What I discovered was that hunger for significance was not going to be satisfied by anything else but completing my mission, my deepest desire. And to do that, I needed to let go of trying to control all outcomes and just create from a space of service. Most importantly I needed to do work and take consistent actions that were relevant and fulfilling for me.  I needed to accept that my path is different from anyone else’s and rather than a straight line to success, it’s a spiral where everything that I want is just around the bend already waiting for me to get there.

And so, I did. One faithful Saturday I asked my husband to leave the house with the kids and the dog for a whole day that I needed to myself. I meditated, I prayed, I journaled. Most importantly I let go, and after asking for inspiration and to be guided in this spiral path, I started creating. And it just flowed. That’s the day the most authentic and creative work I have ever done was born. I created the Refocus your Vision Challenge as a space for female entrepreneurs, just like me, to refocus on themselves to find what they really want out of their intuition rather than trying to follow as others have out of ego. A 5-day journey where they could discover and act on those goals they want and that seems impossible where we stand now. I understood that day that my path is to move people into action by also leading them to be still for a minute so they can figure out what they want.

The next 30 days after that, I lost 15 pounds (I am still doing that challenge daily), brought my challenge into reality, delivered live, and attracted over 75+ entrepreneurs (and counting) to my group. Women just like me that felt lost and living on Groundhog day for months and needed to go inwards to act.

I have found the key to get over motivation. Motivation only takes you so far. Will power fades.

What gets me going is a commitment to my mission. It’s upholding that vision of myself that is so much bigger and better to fulfill my highest goal of speaking at venues full of women that need to hear my message.  What keeps me moving is knowing that to obtain that deep desire of significance and get to that stage I need to take daily actions that get me closer to becoming that person that stands in that stage to move those women. That version of me still works out every day, nourishes her body with food that provides fuel rather than comfort, does not drink alcohol so she can stay sharp, hydrates her body to keep energized, and puts herself out there every day. All these actions combined have made me a well-rounded entrepreneur with purpose, a present mother that leads by example, and a loving wife that knows how to stand in her own two feet. And that is all the motivation I need to keep going. Follow on IG: @theeventmaximizer

Nine months into 2020 and I am still figuring out how to catch my breath. I own a cake/dessert design studio, we started the year surpassing every forecast and doubling our 2019 sales, 2020 was going to be a stellar year, then on March 14th ALL of our future events, weddings, and corporate events were canceled within a week.  While the majority of the corporate world was forced to stay home and find new ways how to conduct business, homeschooling, or dealing with sudden unemployment, I had to re-invent my business, QUICKLY.   Instead of customized desserts, I created a ready to access the menu for my clients to celebrate birthdays and mini weddings from home.  Holiday menus were created and a new marketing campaign embarked to keep my business alive.  I was able to keep 25% of my team, this means that I am busier than ever, as I am wearing 10 hats daily, baking, decorating, cleaning, delivering, billing, selling, and marketing. Balancing life right now is on the back burner and I cannot wait to some sort of normalcy soon. Visit her website at www.sweetguilt.com Follow on IG: @angelicalenox and @sweetguiltbyangelica

2020 has been one of the most challenging years I’ve ever faced. I am aware that I’m not alone when I say that it can definitely go down in the books as a time when I had to take an honest and very hard look at my life.

I started off the year expecting which was a dream come true, and one I had been pursuing for some time. With a thriving business, a wonderful 14-year relationship with a great husband, and everything else that I could possibly need, COVID definitely made me put lots of things into perspective.

I have been on the quest, the journey for “life balance“ since I was 21. I started meditating at that time and exploring aromatherapy, energy healing, music therapy, and my overall spirituality.

I have kept my sanity during this sensitive time, practicing all these above-mentioned practices. I feel that those tools have helped me be a productive me. I’ve been working on personal projects that I had left on the wayside. I’m actually excited to say that I think I’ll come out of 2020 a better version of me and with some exciting new things to share professionally.

I learned a big lesson this year and it was a reminder about investing time connecting. Not by text. Not by email. TALKING. The lost art of the conversation came out of COVID19 for me as the one I can’t forget. It’s changed everything during this trying time……

Note from Vimari: Congratulations to Liza, she welcomed her sweet baby boy Gabriel Andres Pineres on June 22, 2020. Blessings! Follow Liza on IG @lizamsantana and @creativasgrouppr

As a Hotelier with over 23 years of conducting face to face events, finding creative ways to stay connected with my clients was my main focus. Successfully and with the collaboration of our local DMC partners we were able to create remarkable virtual events that not only helped us stay connected with our clients, but we were also able to showcase our Resort and destination with its true essence, culture, and vibrant.

Another huge component that helped me to stay motivated was to invest in my inner self, I took a meditation class that rewired my thoughts, to focus on the positive thoughts and energy, aligning my focus, tranquility, and balance.

As one takes care of your inner self, your mind and thoughts find ways to get back to your creative self.  

By this my new venture was born, I have a deep love for relaxation and quality of life.  With that in mind, I combined two of my passions champagne and candles. Follow on IG: @bubbly_brio and @bubbly_candles

Everyone of us have to find their own rhythm on how to best navigate these times. 

Evolution is the name of the game and it can be a great thing. Being an island native, I know after every Hurricane, the sun comes out again! My personal mantra during this year has been. Stay firm in your faith whichever it is – it is strength and hope.  Family truly comes first.  If working from home, maintain/create daily routines:  beauty, exercise, meals, wellbeing, recreational opportunities, mind coaching. Plan in advance:  for your home office, for your children, for your significant other, for your friends, for your family. Go on a vacation and disconnect. Connect and Support your friends and acquaintances – You don’t know who needs an encouragement call. Volunteer to help others – when you give, you receive. Follow on IG: @iacoszob and @mrchotels

2020 has been an exciting and challenging year for many if not for all. With the COVID work demands, it enabled us to be more efficient at work while taking care of number one, our family. Sanity means constant walks, meditation, and positive thinking that things will change to give a new normal back! Follow on IG @hannehbb

Productive: I’ve stayed productive by exercising “FOCUS.” When I focus consciously I mentally exercise in a positive way and relax. Having a family has kept me productive. Last but not least is work. I am really thankful and fortunate to have work. Positive: I created a new vision board. It really has depth on vision. What you see can set your mood and have an effect on you. Be good and positive. Feel it. Knowing that timing is everything has kept me positive. Not letting anything that meets the eye affect me. Balance: I am balanced, is my first affirmation each morning. Working out, writing, affirmations, audiobooks, books, magazines, green juice, massages, wine, and waking up is my balance. Oh and never stopping date night with my honey even if I am stuck at home. Follow on IG @leynni_m

I knew right away I couldn’t stay still and let time go by so I got immersed in personal development, training, and studying. I started getting up at 5:00 am, working out early to maintain a “normal” daily routine to be in front of my computer by 8:00 am and solve this puzzle called “new reality” while taking small dance breaks singing “I’m a champion” by Carrie Underwood at the top of lungs or bouncing on my trampoline, just for giggles. Follow on IG @rockymedina.dv

The productive part has been quite easy to achieve, work has been incredibly busy! This has kept me completely engaged with my clients and my colleagues.

Staying positive has been challenging at times, but regular zoom happy hours with girlfriends are a fun distraction from the sometimes overwhelming demands of work and home life. 

Achieving balance is not something I really strive for, it tends to cause more stress than relief for me.  I have learned to accept that some day’s work will be a priority and other days it will be a dinner date with my husband or it will be binge-watching the latest TV show. Whatever gets me to the next day. Follow on LinkedIn @rocio-ortega-cfp

2020 For me it’s been challenging in a lot of ways. After rediscovering my inner power as a human being and as a woman, I started reconnecting with all the things that make me happy and… what a better way to start a year, right? I didn’t count on some quarantine that the universe had planned for us so I had to work from home for 4 months and then when I finally got back into the office I tested positive for COVID, another challenge. Yes I was broken inside, yes I wanted to give up but when you have a strong mindset and you know your own “why”, nothing that happens will really destroy you. I knew I had the power of continuing with my life, I wrote a lot, read some books, and even fell in love. Was all of that planned? not at all, but I was open, my heart was open to learning about the challenge, to absorb every single piece of knowledge that I could from what was happening, and from being a control freak, I started being present in the present, with no special recipes but with the clear conviction that even delayed my dreams would still come true. what did that bring to my life? new beginnings, new people, new dreams, and new lessons.

Our business had to pivot so we started sourcing new opportunities and white spaces where we could be at the service of other professionals and companies. Meditation and gratitude have been two MAJOR adds-on to my daily life that have been the source of power, determination, inspiration, and motivation through my weeks. This “pause” made me realize how different results we can get when we switch from auto-pilot to intentional activities that we took for granted before.

I’m certain that our next normal will come with countless blessings and opportunities that we ever thought possible before. Follow on IG @claupatrina

 

Mental Fitness PQ – What it’s done for my life and practice

Mental Fitness PQ Graduates Last year, when the world came to a halt, I was amid rebranding my company. The timing couldn’t be more perfect on April 15th when I launched my new website, and everyone was sitting at home with plenty of time to visit. My website analytics went through the roof, and I [...]

10 of 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers

I am proud to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month for the first time ever. I am taking this opportunity to celebrate not only our heritage but also our women.

I am doing this because I have learned through my journey that supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women, is essential. We should endorse and lift each other as much as possible, and that’s why I am taking this opportunity to highlight 30 amazing Latinas of which I am proud to be a part of. 

I have chosen these 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers carefully as they are experts in their related fields. As a Career Strategist and Coach, my mission is to help people utilize their natural talents to do exciting and fulfilling work. The Latina’s that I am introducing to you this week have all accomplished this successfully. 

I hope that this project is shared within the community and that it will inspire and motivate other Latinx women to support one another, follow their dreams, and do what they love.

Today, I introduce to you the first ten of the 30 Powerful Latina Trailblazers.

Each of the women were asked to tell us how they have stayed productive, positive, and maintained their life balance in 2020. They’ve shared some amazing quotes and life lessons which I am sure you will enjoy.

Be sure to check in again tomorrow and Thursday as I’ll be introducing you to the other 20, and on Friday I have a special blog post that includes my 2020 journey and why I decided to take on this project.

Cheers,

Vimari

#hispanicheritagemonth #latinx #latinas

I am a forever student; from the time I was a little girl, I played school because I love learning new things, challenges, and tasks. My mom taught me to never settle and never stop learning, so when the studio shut down, I had to learn quickly how to recreate my own in-home studio. The show must go on, as they say, and I wasn’t going to stop bringing my community the best content just because of a little social distancing! I studied and learned to take another utterly different role than anything that I’ve done before. I consider myself a forever student of the industry. I learned how to be the director, lighting, and sound and had test shoots during my weekends before having the opportunity to have a dual role as producer and host for E!’s newest show, Pop on Peacock! I’ve been grinding in the hustle for 10 years, and 2020 hasn’t been any different.

I can’t say that I have a life balance, but I can say that I have reckoning priorities. My relationships with family and my brother are significant to me. I’ve re-prioritized what I value and things that are really important to me: my family and my community. Perhaps my priorities before 2020 were a bit out of order because of my hustle mentality. Still, I know that I am coming out of this year as a better human being. I’ve always been fueled by passion and advocacy but had no time to take steps forward. But now I have no excuse, and my advocacy is as important to me as anything on TV. Visit her website at: https://www.lillianavazquez.com/ Follow on IG: @lillianavazquez

Well for me 2020 has been a real roller-coaster! I have gone through some things in previous years that I thought were roller-coasters but by far, like many of us, it has been a year of a lot of change, a lot of getting used to, and In my specific case –  a year of loss.  I lost my grandmother earlier this year due to COVID-19, I lost my any sense of privacy or alone time, now that my children are homeschooling, and I lost my job last month.

After I lost my job it gave me the opportunity to focus on “Latina Made not Maid” 100%. To the point where I am 100% invested and film TikTok videos every day. It’s given me the opportunity to invest in the appearance of the brand and the message that I wanted to send out to the world. Which is the message that we need to change the Latina narrative and the message that we have been hearing or that has been told to us for so long. I also had the opportunity to start a business where I can help multi-cultural women to start and scale their own business. 

Again, 2020 has been a roller-coaster but it’s been a blessing in disguised.

As far as balance, I have been able to do more self-care. I’ve been able to nap when I want to nap if I feel that I am burned out or just devote 45 min to an hour to giving myself an at-home facial or pedicure. Just the simple little things that we oftentimes say we do not have the time to do. I have been able to step back every once in a while to just be good to myself. Follow on IG: @lifebyerika @latinamadenotmaid @latinamadellc

Este año 2020 ha sido un año de transformación. Me he mantenido productiva haciendo mucho ejercicio, yoga, y meditación todos los días con el amanecer. Tengo un grupo de amigos que hacemos este ritual todos los días. El mar también espectacular, es como mi medio de sanación entonces ha sido impresionante la conexión pues que tengo con el mar por ser San Adrésana, entonces pues eso me ha mantenido. Y bueno la conexión con mi familia también. Dedicarme más tiempo a mi… saber que me gusta. Analizar como todo lo que está pasando en el mundo que nos puede ayudar como personas y saber qué pues en mi caso que la familia es todo. A pesar de que yo vivo acá sola pero mis amigos en este caso son mi familia y pues también mantengo el contacto con mi familia. Entonces creo que es un complemento entre ejercitar el cuerpo, el alma y la mente. Follow on IG: @anggiebryan

Pivoting on a few areas of the business but also focused on 2021 projects. As for life balance, I work out as much as time permits sometimes twice daily, and get as much fresh air as possible. Time with my son and dog are my life balance. Follow on IG: @mizzgiles @Soulfrito @latina100summit

Así las cosas en el mundo estén de cabezas, siempre tenemos la opción de elegir como nos queremos sentir. Así que cada mañana cuando me despierto elijo estar contenta y esa acción hace que mi día sea diferente porque me abro a la posibilidad de hacer las cosas desde un lugar amoroso con buena actitud y feliz. Desde que empezamos la cuarentena estoy muy consiente de hacer cosas que me diviertan y mirar las bendiciones que tengo en mi vida que son muchas. No estamos trabajando desde hace 6 meses y no me ha faltado nada para cubrir las necesidades básicas. ¡Eso es ser abundante!

La manera como me he mantenido en balance en estos meses de encierro ha sido estudiando. Aprender de tecnología ha sido muy excitante para mí. Yo veo el 2020 como un año de aprendizaje personal y profesional. Un año de replantearme de lo que es realmente importante en mi vida y lo que es necesario. Ha sido un año de auto observación y de hacer limpieza interna. Quiero simplificar mi vida y sentirme feliz trabajando en servirle al mundo atreves de mi arte. Visit her website at: http://www.claudiacalle.com/ Follow on IG: @claudiacalleart

As a Mompreneur during quarantine season, it can be challenging juggling business + personal life (online homeschool!), that is why I do not believe in balance but in harmony. You see, with harmony, the definition states that it is an order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another. If you are striving to have balance in your life, then by the definition, you will have to ease up on something or give it up to bring your life in balance. With that being said, I find harmony in life by time blocking, this has kept me productive by focusing on work tasks that need to be achieved by a certain deadline. It also helps me disconnect from work duties and focus my energy on enjoying my kids, my husband, my home, date nights, friends’ time, and my very special me-time every day which includes a morning ritual, meditation, exercising, and a bedtime ritual. By harmonizing my life, I have a positive attitude and can be at peace every day. Follow on IG: @diaryofmissm

In this challenging year, I’ve been able to stay productive, positive, and keep balance in my life by living in the moment and not letting anything really affect me. Setting my priorities has been the most important, as a mother, as a wife, and as a professional. Staying focused and organized has really been a major key to overcoming adversity, not to forget staying calm and enjoying the loving company of my family. We can’t always say it is easy, but we can always be sure it is possible. Feeling blessed to be in this part of my life. Visit her website at: https://www.hazelr.com/ Follow on IG: @hazelphotographers

2020 has been strange, to say the least!! Here a few things that have helped keep me productive, positive, and help keep some sort of balance. 1. Exercise! I’ve tried to exercise at least 4 – 5 times a week! Moving my body helps me stay more energized and helps my mood stay upbeat. Since working from home what I do to motivate me to workout is putting on my workout clothes first thing in the morning that way I’m ready to go at any moment!! 2. Journaling! More than ever emotions and stress are high so I make a point to write and journal as much as I possibly can. The more I put on paper and take out of my brain the clearer I can think! 3. Keeping a routine. This has been the hardest during these difficult times and I’ve had to adjust my routine several times but keeping a routine helps me so much in staying productive and organized. Follow on IG: @beautybyjennyfro

After major anxiety attacks, I had no other option than to change my glasses and see 2020 as an opportunity to reset all areas in my life. It’s a fun experiment – made a long list of all my not-so-healthy coping mechanisms and things in my life that we’re bringing me down – social media, people, alcohol, even services within my company that was not making me happy – And decided to make conscious decisions around them. I cut my social media usage in less than half, I’m not spending my time with people that do not add anything positive to my life, cut alcohol and most of the sugar, and optimized my business model and offerings. It’s not perfect but it’s helping me be productive, positive, and happy! I’m now experimenting with date nights with my husband, we are not going out to dinner we are taking salsa classes! We all have the power to make our lives as fun and balanced as we wanted to, it’s a conscious decision. Visit her website at: http://markofthebuffalo.com/ Follow on IG: https://www.instagram.com/markofthebuffalo/

It has been an overwhelming year. I try to keep my mind positive and have hope that everything is going to pass, and everything is going to be alright. At the same time, this year has brought me a wake-up call. A call for me to step up and not waste time to be ready for the next year. Follow on IG: @adilyngomez

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Candis Hickman, Personal Branding Coach for Rising Leaders

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces Candis Hickman, Personal Branding Coach for Rising Leaders

 

Two years ago when I was looking to re-brand my coaching practice at Be Productive Coaching I wanted to learn more about Personal Branding and I took one of Candis’ Personal Branding courses. I can honestly say the information that I learned about myself was extremely valuable and key to my professional re-branding earlier this year. I learned that as a solopreneur and a service provider, knowing who you are and what you like are key to branding yourself. One of the things that drew me to Candis was her career transition story, not knowing that I would be sharing her story with you today.

Before becoming a Personal Branding Coach, Candis had a successful career as an Occupational Therapist in Australia. She moved to the USA in 2011 thinking that her credentials would transfer but she quickly found out that it wasn’t so. That’s when she saw herself having to make the choice between going back to school to get the USA credentials she needed or she could decide to do something completely different. She chose to identify her passions and head in a new direction. She spent several years exploring herself and different industries, hiring coaches, and taking all sorts of courses before recognizing her talent for helping others rise up by becoming the face of their brand. 

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

I cleaned a house and babysat the children of the family whose house I cleaned. I knew my boss from church!

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

 I was an Occupational Therapist in Australia and I moved to the US in 2011. When I arrived I learned that my professional credentials wouldn’t transfer despite my best efforts to get them recognized. I had two choices – go back to school and get the extra classes needed to continue or do something completely different. I chose to identify my passions and head in a new direction. I spent several years exploring – from TV Hosting to Real Estate to studies in Image Consulting and then starting a business in Health and Relationship Coaching. It was once I started my business that people began asking me how I was doing it –  getting clients and branding myself – I knew then that I was tapping into a skill that I needed to develop and leverage. Many coaches, strategies, courses, and programs later I have a full-time business serving people who are ready to rise up in their leadership, build a business, and become the face of their brand.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

This is a little hard for me to define – It was a pretty abrupt transition for me when I moved to the USA – although I explored and developed my personal brand for almost 6 years before I actually claimed my role as a branding coach.

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

Image consulting certificate, health coaching certification, leveraged OT skills, hired multiple coaches in branding, business, media, and communications, sales funnel strategy, life coaching… Lots of coaches and programs over the years.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

Life is amazing! I can honestly not imagine doing anything other than the work I’m currently doing. I’ve found my zone of genius and it is truly fulfilling to live a life of freedom, running my own business, setting my own schedule, and living in my purpose.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Become more of who you are.

Where can we find you at 10 am on a Saturday? 

Usually out to breakfast somewhere! 

 

You can learn more about Candis by visiting her website at CandisHickman.com

Follow on Social Media: Twitter @candisahickman – Instagram @candishickman Facebook @candisalicia1 – Linkedin @linkedin.com/in/candishickman/

 

 

 

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Angelica M. Lenox, Founder & Master Designer at Sweet Guilt

 

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces Angelica M. Lenox, Founder & Master Designer at Sweet Guilt

Before starting her luxury dessert atelier, Angelica led a very successful 28-year career in Hospitality as a Director of Sales and Marketing for some of the most acclaimed luxury resorts in the world, such as The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, The St. Regis Bahia Beach, Canyon Ranch and the luxury portfolio of Sofitel Hotels and Resorts. Her career permitted her to visit almost every corner of the world, which allowed her inquisitive mind and taste buds to try new dishes, expand her horizons, and discover new flavors that inspired her cooking. Angelica soon found that she was good at baking, and she decided to enroll in every possible baking and decorating course that she could take during her leisure time. She loved every minute of it and knew then she was destined for it.

“I would bake every day of my life if you let me!  I have been baking for the last 25 years, it is my passion, drive and joy.” Angelica M. Lenox

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

Don’t freak out, but very first job at 15 was in the forensic autopsy department in Ponce, Puerto Rico.  When I was very young I wanted to study forensic science and was given the opportunity to work in the lab.  My job was to record the measurement, weight and color of the organs after an autopsy.  Sexy, no?

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

Even though I am still obsessed with forensic studies, it was very obvious that unless the dead spoke back to me the solitude of the lab amongst the dead was not the path for me.  I studied Hospitality Management and International Business that led me to a fabulous 28 years in the hotel business.  I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and soon discovered that I was really good at baking (modesty aside) and I enrolled in every possible baking and decorating course that I could take during my leisure time.  I loved every minute of it and I knew then that I was destined for it.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

To be honest,  the business took a shape of its own.  I was forced to take some time off to recuperate from several surgeries and when it was time to return to the office my heart was not in it.  It was then when I decided to take time off and during that time Sweet Guilt emerged and took off.

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

I took many courses in baking , decorating that gave me the foundation, however I had no idea how to properly assemble large scales cakes, banquets and intricate work of edible art.  I enrolled to every possible hands on classes to learn the craft.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

It has been almost five years and I love every minute of it.  We have a gorgeous gallery, commercial kitchen, commercial vehicle and a team that allows me to create great desserts.   I am very fortunate that my previous career armed me with a vast knowledge for marketing and business experience, that has made the transition easier and less painful.  Owning your business is not for the faint of heart, it is hard work EVERY minute, it requires determination, focus, enthusiasm and most importantly love for what one does.

What advice would you have given your younger self?    

Don’t be afraid to jump in, things always work out.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Be yourself, your inner star always shines brighter than you think.

Describe your ideal vacation.     

A full Spa vacation sounds heavenly right about now.

Where can we find you at 10am on a Saturday? 

Decorating cakes or setting them up in venues.

 

Follow on Social Media: Twitter @sweet_guilt – Instagram @sweetguiltbyangelica – Facebook @sweetguiltbyangelica

You can learn more about Angelica and Sweet Guilt by visiting their website at sweetguilt.com

 

 

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Anneessa Read, Owner of NeoLyfe

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces my friend Anneessa Read, Owner and Visionary of NeoLyfe

Before NeoLyfe, Anneessa led a very successful Hospitality career for over 30 years. I met Anneessa in 2005 when we both worked for LXR Luxury Resorts and became great friends. I remember us discussing our dreams of becoming entrepreneurs during our many delicious lunch outings.

Anneessa origninally created NeoLyfe in 2007 when she introduced NeoLyfe Magazine. But her fulltime work in Hospitality always got in her way of persuing her dream. It wasn’t until 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic that Anneessa finally got her big push. Like many others in the industry, she found herself on furlough and decided that it was time to pivot.

Anneessa has combined her love of people and hospitality with her passion for natural healing through Organic Coffees & 100% all-natural Teas.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

My First Job was selling Knives for Cutco.  If I remember correctly, Cutco came to my High School for Career Day.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

I started transitioning into my business unknowingly in 2017 when I created the Company NeoLyfe. First introducing NeoLyfe as NeoLyfe Magazine. Year after year, I would start working towards building my business, then I would eventually become too entangled with work to focus on building my business. March 2020 was the big push, the Pandemic happened, then I gained more time to focus on my business, and move forward creating NeoLyfe Coffee & Tea.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

Within 4 weeks my online store was created, and introduce a branch of NeoLyfe creating NeoLyfe Coffee and Tea.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

It’s scary, and exciting all at the same time.  I was so comfortable with getting paid every 2 weeks, and now being self-employed, the scary part is not having that cushion of knowing X amount of dollars would be in my bank account every 2 weeks.  The exciting part is, I have free reign to create, build, and focus on something that I Love, and feel good about. Not because of the paycheck, but because of the freedom

What advice would you have given your younger self?

Never apologize for going for something you dreamed of even when everyone else thought you were crazy.

Learn more about Anneessa and NeoLyfe: www.myneolyfe.com

Follow on Facebook @MyNeoLyfe and Instagram @myneolyfe

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Janet Carabelli, Actor, SAG-AFTRA

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces my friend Janet Carabelli, Actor, SAG-AFTRA.

For many years Janet owned a successful advertising agency that had been named a finalist for the fastest-growing female-owned company in the region. But in 2009 when the recession hit its peak their revenue tanked and Janet found herself in a position to pivot to the next step of her career. She had studied acting in college and she decided to start sending out her photo to talent agents. Her gray hair and non-botoxed face were in great demand and she was soon making more money doing TV commercials than running her agency.  In 2011 Janet closed Idealogy Creative and started acting full time. Today, she continues working as a SAG-AFTRA actor.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

Junior Lifeguard Shenandoah Pool when I was 15; swam there all the time and was invited to certify and apply.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

The recession prompted the decision; I’d owned an advertising agency that was very successful.   We’d been named a finalist in the South Florida Business Journal’s 2004 competition for the fastest-growing female-owned company in the region . . . but when the recession hit its peak in 2009, our revenue tanked.   Clients, particularly in the financial arena in which we’d begun specializing post-9/11 (Travel had previously been our focus) were not doing any advertising.   I’d studied acting in college and as a corporate executive had often been in front of the camera, so I started sending out my photo to talent agents.    The gray hair and non-botoxed face were in great demand and I was soon making more money doing TV commercials than running my agency.  So in 2011 I closed Idealogy Creative and started acting full time.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

Though I actually started getting work immediately, I wanted to be considered for much higher-paying projects than I was initially being booked for. And I wanted to earn my Screen Actors Guild card (SAG-AFTRA). So I took lots of classes and watched countless YouTube videos to refresh my skills, participated in every industry networking event I could find, contacted producers and Casting Directors I’d known from having owned an ad agency, and from having been a Marketing VP in Fortune 500 companies before that. I did Student films for free or very little pay to build a demo. I wound up earning my union (SAG-AFTRA) eligibility in 2013 and became a member in 2014. I now serve on several committees and am an alternate on the Board of Directors.

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

The classes and online content I voraciously consumed included Scene Study; Commercial Acting (scripted and improv);  Voiceover, Acting techniques including Uta Hagen, Eric Morris, Michael Chekhov, Jeff Seymour’s Real-life-Acting; the Business of Acting; Acting for the Camera, TelePrompTer . . . I think the only things I didn’t study were Stand Up Comedy and Intimacy Onscreen: kissing for the camera! To this day, although I’m a working actor, I take regular classes to maintain and improve my skills.  And I have a few coaches whom I can call upon for specific skills-building. Just as professional athletes and musicians, actors need to continually practice.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

It’s extremely gratifying to be able to get paid to do what I love — to live my passion. It’s electrifying when I get called in for an audition that I KNOW is a perfect fit, and booking the part is thrilling. Even the audition process is a fun one for me; it’s a chance to perform and may result in a great gig. And even if it doesn’t, I know that Casting Director will remember me for the future. For younger actors, the continual rejection (far more often we’re told “no” versus “yes”) can be devastating and crush their spirits. At this age, I’m confident enough to view other folks up for the same role as colleagues, not competitors.  I’m happy for friends when they get chosen; my ego isn’t impacted.  

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

When you love what you’re doing, it isn’t work.

Describe your ideal vacation.

Up close and personal with animals.  So far I’ve enjoyed 3 photo safaris in various parts of Africa including the great migration of the Wildebeest; the Monarch Migration in the Michoacán; Galapagos; Alaska; Hummingbird Migration Kentucky; Yellowstone; kayaking amongst otters in Morro Bay; rafting with starfish in California’s Channel Islands; whale watching in San Juan Islands;  penguin colonies in Falklands and Patagonia; Barbary apes in Gibralter … I know I’m forgetting some!

Learn more about Janet:

Website:  www.JanetCarabelli.com  

IG: https://www.instagram.com/JanetCarabelli/ 

YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSxDWjoEWkM-3wHB0JSHAN81I-lALJys   

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetcarabelli/

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Lillian A. Ser, Esq.

We are delighted to introduce #transitiontuesdays where we will feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

We’d like to start our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays with my friend Lillian A. Ser, Esq. 

At the age of 35 after a successful career, a marriage, and two small kids, Lillian decided to go back to school and follow her dreams of becoming an attorney.

In 2009, she founded Ser & Associates, a minority-owned, female-owned boutique law firm, certified at the federal, state, and local levels. Ser & Associates represents individuals, entrepreneurs, and small to medium-sized businesses in corporate, business, and real estate matters.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

 

What was your first job and how did you get it?

First Job in life at 13 – Grocery Store cashier. Got it by walking in and asking if they needed part-time help.  First job in Career #1 – Bursar for the University of Miami.  I worked my way up from secretary to the boss.  First job in Career #2 – Shutts & Bowen, a prestigious big law firm. I worked very hard in law school and graduated in the top 2% of my class.  That, coupled with 10 years of experience, got me the job.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

I decided to go to law school when I was 35 yrs old.  I had reached the upper echelons at UM and knew that it would be a very long time before I could ascent further.  Then I thought, I can go somewhere else and do the same job (Billing/Collections/Management) or return to my first life plan of becoming a lawyer. 

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

First, I prepared for the LSAT by taking a prep course.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a good score.  But, I did.  Then, I applied to UM (the only choice I had since I was married with 2 young kids and couldn’t leave the area) thinking I wouldn’t get in.  But,  I did.  Then I thought there was no way I could afford to go to school full-time.  But, I was awarded a 50% scholarship for my first year.  And, based on my ranking, I got a full ride for the 2nd and 3rd year.  So all the student loan money went towards helping to support my family.  In a nutshell, it was meant to be.  😊

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

I was fortunate in that I was an older student and had real life experience, plus time management skills.  I did not have the money or time to have a career coach per se, but I did rely heavily on the UM Career Source Dept to find summer jobs and improve on my interviewing skills. In fact, I went to the career source my first week of law school and telling the counselor, I need to start working on my job prospects for when I graduate.  The counselor laughed and said, come back at the end of year two.  I said, no. I need a job for the next two summers and a job lined up immediately after I take the Bar.  And, so it was…

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

I’ve been an attorney now for over 20yrs.  I have never once regretted my decision and the hard work/sacrifices I had to make and that my family had to make. I have built a good reputation and have helped many people on the way.   I’m proud of my accomplishments and, most especially, grateful for making my  uneducated/immigrant parents goal of a better life for their daughter a reality. 

What advice would you have given your younger self?

Trust your gut.  Every time you feel uneasy about something, someone or a decision, there usually is something wrong.  And, if you don’t know what to do.  Don’t do anything for a little bit.  The right path will reveal itself.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Don’t think too long or hard about a decision because of fear of failure.  Failure is the way we learn and improve.  And, sometimes, if you wait too long, someone will get there first. 

Describe your ideal vacation.

Hmmmmm…  traveling to a new place – ANYWHERE!

Learn more about Lillian and her firm:

@ser_associates LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lillianser/

This is a perfect time to change jobs – Yes, even during COVID-19

There is no perfect time like the present. Yes, even during COVID-19.

The truth is that if you wait for a perfect time to change jobs you may wait a long time. The right time to change a job is the minute that you start thinking of doing so. The present time is always the best time. Chances are you have good reasons to want to make this transition and I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t wait.

I am well aware that more than 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic and this is definitely something to be concerned about. However, the most recent US Department of Labor release shows that the weekly unemployment claims dropped below one million for the first time since March according to a Wall Street Journal article from Aug 13, 2020, and although the numbers are still high this should not hold you back from looking for your next opportunity.

Here is why this is the right time for you to start looking.

  • Number one – Companies are still hiring!
  • People are moving – many people have taken this time to re-evaluate their situations and have decided to relocate which means that jobs locally are starting to open up.
  • Lack of happiness – people were not happy with their jobs before the pandemic and are still planning on changing jobs.
  • Better opportunities – as humans our need for growth is still there and many are still searching for more money, more responsibility, better benefits, etc.
  • Fulfillment – this pandemic has put things into perspective for many. More and more people are looking to change jobs that are no longer exciting for them. They have either outgrown their careers or they were in a career that they didn’t like and have taken this time to align themselves and their future.

As daunting as it may be to look for a new job during a global crisis, there are still opportunities to be found. Here are some reasons to consider changing jobs amid COVID-19.

  • Excitement and Joy – do you wake up excited and ready for the day or do you wake up dreading your work? This is a huge indication that you may be ready for a change.
  • Uninspired – do you leave work every night worn-out, deflated, and uninspired? Life is too short to hate your job.
  • Purpose and Alignment – the pandemic gives you an invitation to reflect and align your career with your values and lifestyle. If you are like many of us, you’ve taken some of the downtimes to really evaluate where you are and where you want to go. For many, this includes their careers. Ask yourself if your current job aligns with your strengths and your purpose and if it doesn’t then that’s an indication that you are ready to move forward.

If you are lacking excitement, joy, purpose, and alignment and feel uninspired then the time is now. Here are some ways that you can prepare for your job search:

  • Take an online class that may help you build on your transferrable skills.
  • Get clear – really think about what you want to do next. Think about the lifestyle you want to have (work from home, travel, flexibility, etc). Think about what fulfills you. What is your expertise? What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • Career Strategy – once you get clear, its time to create a career strategy. Identify companies of interest, job titles, and read job descriptions. Use the 80/20 rule – if you can do 80% of the work and it excites you then that’s a good fit.
  • Network – The smartest way to transition is to connect with people in the field and organizations of interest. We are all craving connection so this is the best time to reconnect with old friends, friends of friends, old colleagues, and members of college alumni networks.
  • LinkedIn – is the world’s largest professional network with 706+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find top-notch candidates.  Make sure that your profile is strategically updated and that your professional brand makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • Resume – make sure your resume is updated and ATS friendly. Focus on your major accomplishments and make sure that the resume strategy is clear.
  • Interview Preparation – most interviews are taking place over the phone and via video. Practice and make sure that your space at home if you are working from home is set up for good video and connectivity.

It’s time to get you out of paralysis analysis and into a thriving career. Do work that brings you excitement and fulfillment. Life is too short to hate your job. You will be happier, and your family, friends, and coworkers will be happier to be around you.

Do you have a personal experience with transitioning during the coronavirus you’d like to share? Please email info@beproductivecoaching.com and tell us your story.

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10 Tips to Stop Hating Interviews

Most people dread interviews. Wait, let me rephrase that…most people hate interviews. I have heard so many people say that they wish that interviews were not a part of the process. But how else would a potential employer know if you are a good fit? I can certainly understand why you would dread or hate interviewing. Not only are you going in to speak with a stranger about your work experience, but in most cases, you are hoping that they will hire you. Many times the fear of rejection sets in from when you are asked to come in for the interview or jump on that phone or Zoom call.

I like to compare interviewing with dating. Most of us feel a sense of excitement and, at the same time, a sense of anxiety and fear when we are first asked to go on a date. You are excited that you are getting the opportunity to go on a date with someone who interests you and happy that the person has shown interest in you as well. Still, you have no idea what to expect. You start planning what you are going to wear, you may practice your greeting, and these days you may even look them up on Facebook or Google them. You prepare for the date so that you feel more at ease and so that perhaps you can have the opportunity for a second date.

Well, interviewing for a potential job is no different. Just like you prepare or prepared (if you are no longer dating) for that special date, you should also prepare for the interview with your potential employer.

Following are a few tips to help you prepare and stop hating interviews:

  • Research the company by getting to know their mission, vision, and any latest news. Check to see if you know anyone who works there and perhaps give them a call to find out what they like about the company.
  • Get the name of the person you will be meeting with and look them up on LinkedIn and Google.
  • Put a list of at least ten questions that you will ask during the interview.
  • Practice! Grab a friend or colleague and ask them to mock interview you. Put together a list of questions and practice, practice, practice.
  • Make networking a part of your practice. Reduce your fear of meeting and talking to a stranger by getting out to network. If you cannot network in person, then network on LinkedIn and ask them to join you for coffee or a Zoom call. Speaking to strangers and asking questions to get to know them will improve your conversational skills and reduce the fear that creeps up during interviews.
  • Visualize your interview. Work through the questions in your mind and begin to answer questions that may come up. I always recommend practicing the “tell me about yourself questions.”
  • Write down what has made you nervous in interviews in the past. Then work through those points to overcome them.
  • Make a list of your accomplishments. Everything you are proud of, read it out loud, then read it to a friend and then practice saying it to your friend without the list.
  • Find out what the dress code is and take it up a notch and wear something that makes you feel good. Make sure you pull out your outfit and try it on a few days before to make sure it fits well and looks professional.
  • Work out! Yes, before going to your interview, do something to move your body. Preferably cardio. Try to take the day off if you can or go in late to work so that you have time to exercise. Get your sweat on and release those endorphins. These endorphins trigger positive feelings and will get you in the right state of mind before the interview.

These tips should help ease the nervousness and anxiety that comes from interviewing. Also, do not forget that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure you ask all the questions you need to determine if this is a good fit for you as well. 

 

 

Need help with interview preparation? A small investment can go a long way in your preparation and help you set yourself apart. Set up a free consultation to learn more about our packages: www.beproductivecoaching.com/contact